Todd Blackadder has named an unchanged backline to face the Highlanders this weekend. The team has returned from South Africa to host the Highlanders at AMI Stadium, 7:35pm on Saturday.
There are three changes in the forwards, with Joe Moody and Owen Franks the starting props this week, and Alex Hodgman and Nepo Laulala providing cover from the bench. Jimmy Tupou starts at lock this week alongside Sam Whitelock, and Scott Barrett is in the reserves.
Also taking a spot on the bench is Dan Carter, who has returned from paternity leave.
This will be Owen Franks’ 100th game for the Crusaders, which coach Todd Blackadder says is a remarkable achievement that will be celebrated by the whole team.
“Everyone will want to make this a special occasion for Owen, because he gives so much to this team. He leads the way with his professionalism and dedication and provides an outstanding mentor to other members of the team. He gives 100 percent every single day, both in his preparation and when he plays,” Blackadder said.
“I know that Owen will approach this game the same way as he approaches every game, but we will take some time afterwards to mark this important milestone with him and show our appreciation for the immense contribution he makes to this team.”
Crusaders team to play the Highlanders:
|2||Ben Funnell||16||Codie Taylor|
|3||Owen Franks||17||Alex Hodgman|
|4||Jimmy Tupou||18||Nepo Laulala|
|5||Sam Whitelock||19||Scott Barrett|
|6||Jordan Taufua||20||Richie McCaw|
|7||Matt Todd||21||Mitchell Drummond|
|8||Kieran Read (c)||22||Dan Carter|
|9||Andy Ellis||23||Nafi Tuitavake|
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