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Crusaders name team for Highlanders

Crusaders and Highlanders fans will get their first opportunity to see their teams in action this weekend, when they meet in a pre-season clash in Timaru. The game kicks off at 2:30 at Alpine Energy Stadium and will be played in four quarters with rolling substitutions.

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has named his squad for the southern derby and says the boys are itching to get out on the field and play some rugby.

“The pre-season is starting to feel long to the players by about now. They’ve been pushed to their limits by trainers and coaches since before Christmas and now they’re just really looking forward to playing some actual rugby.

“For us, this is going to be a really useful opportunity to see how the players fare under some game pressure and to learn about what our key work-ons should be for the remainder of the pre-season,” Blackadder said.

The team to play in Timaru is made up of current squad members, wider training group members and some players who have been involved in the pre-season as part of the Crusaders apprenticeship system.

The Crusaders will play two other pre-season games – vs the Hurricanes in Eketahuna on 31 January and vs the Reds in Brisbane on 6 February.

Crusaders team to play the Highlanders:

1 Alex Hodgman
2 Codie Taylor
3 Nepo Laulala
4 Scott Barrett
5 Jimmy Tupou
6 Tom Sanders
7 Matt Todd (c )
8 Luke Whitelock
9 Mitchell Drummond
10 Richie Mo’unga
11 Nafi Tuitavake
12 Nathaniel Apa
13 Kieron Fonotia
14 Jone Macalai
15 Johnny McNicholl

Replacements:

Ben Funnell (FR)
Daniel Lienert–Brown (FR)
Sione Faletau (FR)
Dominic Bird
Jordan Taufua
Billy Guyton
Robbie Fruean
Ged Robinson (FR)
Rob Thompson
Reed Prinsep
George Bridges
Michael Green
Willi Heinz
Milford Keresoma
Luke Romano
Jed Brown
Luteru Laulala