Crusaders coach Scott Robinson has named an unchanged matchday squad to face the Chiefs in their Super Rugby Aotearoa clash in Christchurch on Sunday.
All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor will once again captain the side, following news earlier this week that Scott Barrett has been ruled out of the tournament to have surgery for a toe injury.
Taylor will be supported by vice-captains Whetu Douglas and David Havili.
Robertson told media on Friday that giving the same 23 an opportunity to play together again this week is a chance to build combinations quickly given the short 10-week competition.
“We know the nature of the competition, it is a sprint, it’s short, sharp,” he said.
“It’s really important to get off to a good start and that’s what we’ve done with the team that played well last week and [we’ve] rewarded them.”
🗣️ "Scott Barrett sustained a significant injury to the structures supporting his big toe." #SuperRugbyAotearoa
🇳🇿 Crusaders' captain to miss the rest of the season. 👇 https://t.co/hE8xO0uTxS
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) June 24, 2020
Several Crusaders players are also set to turn out for their clubs this week, including Quinten Strange and Andrew Makalio, who are both returning from injury.
Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (c), 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Brodie McAlister, 17 George Bower, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 David Havili, 23 Leicester Faingaanuku
Date: Sunday, June 28
Venue: Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 15:35 (04:35 BST, 03:35 GMT)
Referee: James Doleman
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe, Mike Fraser
TMO: Brendon Pickerill