No Sam Whitelock for Crusaders

Date published: May 17 2018

Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has made six alterations to his starting lineup for the local derby clash with the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday.

In the front-row, Tim Perry makes his return from the hamstring injury he sustained against the Brumbies in Round 11, and will start at loosehead prop. Owen Franks also returns to the starting side this week, and Mike Alaalatoa moves to the reserves.

Quinten Strange steps in to the starting team this week in place of regular captain Sam Whitelock, with Matt Todd to lead the side in his absence. The only other change in the pack sees Heiden Bedwell-Curtis take the starting spot in the number six jersey with Pete Samu providing cover on the bench.

In the backs, vice-captain Ryan Crotty returns this week, and will line up in the midfield alongside Jack Goodhue. Outside back George Bridge will shift from full-back to the left wing for this game, and David Havili will wear the number 15 jersey. Manasa Mataele, having recovered from the head knock he suffered against the Waratahs, takes a spot on the bench.

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd (c), 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Mitchell Dunshea, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele

Date: Saturday, May 19
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Cam Stone (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
Television match official: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)