Codie Taylor up for captaincy challenge

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Regular skipper Scott Barrett is getting scans on his foot after injuring it in the Crusaders internal game last weekend.

After being vice-Captain a number of times, Taylor said while he’s gutted for Barrett, he can’t wait to lead his side in their first Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa match.

“I sort of have a gage of what it takes and with Sammy [Whitelock], he’s captained this team for three years and I’m not going to pretend like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. I’m just going to take all the knowledge that he can share when we are out there on Sunday and go from there.”

Taylor was a keen observer of the two games last weekend and knows there will be a lot more line outs in this new competition.

“Given all the advantages and penalties given out, set piece defence has to be pretty on. Every New Zealand team has awesome strike players off the line outs, so we have to make sure we do our homework there. When you are in your own half, you just can’t afford to give away penalties because it’s either going to be three points or they are kicking for a line out five metres out.”

Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has the utmost admiration for David Havili who has been named on the bench, three months after undergoing emergency bowel surgery.

“I have huge respect to Dave for his determination and athleticism to see the nick he is in for the position he was in health-wise a few months ago. It was touch and go there for a while and now he’s playing rugby,” said Robertson.

“He can cover multiple positions and he’s a real leader in our group.”

Robertson’s expecting a brutal encounter with the Hurricanes in Wellington.

“They are desperate straight away aren’t they, after a loss. It’s a short sharp sprint this and it just shows that teams are winning at home and home games are really important. To win away is a big task, they will be protecting their patch and we’re excited to get up there.”

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend Sunday afternoon’s clash at 3:35pm at Sky Stadium. Be part of the action and get your tickets HERE.


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