Samu starts for Crusaders

Date published: March 9 2017

The Crusaders cross the ditch this week to take on the Reds in Brisbane, with three players set to make their debut for the franchise on Saturday.

Heiden Bedwell-Curtis will earn his first Crusaders cap at number seven, after Matt Todd strained a calf muscle in training. The other change in the loose forwards is at six, with Pete Samu starting this week and Jordan Taufua providing cover off the bench.

Prop Oli Jager is also set to make his debut if he comes on for Mike Alaalatoa, who shifts from the reserves to the starting tighthead position. Joe Moody starts again at loosehead prop, with Tim Perry coming onto the bench as cover.

Digby Ioane will debut in against his former team when he takes the left wing on Saturday. Seta Tamanivalu moves to the other wing, and Israel Dagg moves back into the full-back role.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 George Bridge

Date: Saturday, March 11
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 21:45 local (08:45 GMT)
Referee: William Houston (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Nicholas Berry (Australia), Damon Murphy (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)