New front row for Crusaders
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has named an all-new front row ahead of his side's Super Rugby match the Waratahs at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
he front row features the return of All Blacks prop Joe Moody, alongside Codie Taylor and Michael Alaalatoa. Moody is yet to play a Super Rugby game in 2018 due to injury, but made a successful return to club rugby last weekend and steps into the starting side to face the Waratahs.
Wyatt Crockett and Andrew Makalio take spots on the bench, while Owen Franks has been rested this week and Donald Brighouse has been named to provide tighthead cover.
Newly re-signed lock Scott Barrett will once again partner captain Samuel Whitelock in the second row, while the loose forward trio of Pete Samu, Matt Todd and Jordan Taufua also remains unchanged.
Bryn Hall is the starting scrumhalf for this game and, following their successful return from injury in Melbourne, flyhalf Richie Mo'unga and centre Jack Goodhue have retained their places in the starting team this week.
Vice-captain Ryan Crotty, who also announced his re-signing with the Crusaders this week, has been rested for this game, allowing Tim Bateman to step into the midfield alongside Goodhue.
Powerful wing Manasa Mataele joins his uncle, Seta Tamanivalu, in the starting XV to take on the Waratahs, with both players getting the nod on the left and right wings respectively. George Bridge drops back to fullback for this match
Crusaders: 15 George Bridge, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Manasa Mataele, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Donald Brighouse, 19 Mitchell Dunshea, 20 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor.
Date: Saturday, May 12
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 AEST; 05.15 GMT)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand