Crusaders ring the changes for Brumbies showdown
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has made seven changes to his team from the side that took the field against the Sunwolves last weekend for their clash against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.
In the forwards, Codie Taylor returns to the starting line-up in place of injured hooker Ben Funnell, and Andrew Makalio will once again provide cover on the bench.
Samuel Whitelock returns this week to partner Scott Barrett at lock and will resume the captaincy, while Heiden Bedwell-Curtis and Jordan Taufua return to the loose forward trio in the No.6 and No.8 jerseys respectively.
At scrumhalf, Bryn Hall joins the starting side this week and Mitch Drummond takes a spot on the bench. Seta Tamanivalu will start on the left wing on Saturday in place of his nephew, Manasa Mataele, who moves to the reserves for this game.
The midfield combination of Ryan Crotty and Tim Bateman remains unchanged, and Israel Dagg will once again start on the right wing following his successful return to play last weekend.
David Havili completes the line-up this week at fullback in place of George Bridge - with both players having played the most minutes of anyone in the team this season.
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Seta Tamanivalu, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele.
Date: Saturday, April 28
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19.45 (21.45 NZ time; 09.45 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Will Houston (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)