Crusaders make eight changes for Reds clash

There are eight changes to the starting line up this week, including the welcome return of hooker Brodie McAlister from the calf injury he sustained earlier this season, as well as the injection of internationals George Bower, Pablo Matera, David Havili and Will Jordan back into the starting XV. 

An all-new front row will take the field in Christchurch, with Oli Jager returning to the starting team, alongside Bower and McAlister. Finlay Brewis and Ricky Jackson move to the reserves, while tighthead prop Fletcher Newell has been given the week to freshen up. 

Pablo Matera and Cullen Grace have been named at blindside and Number 8 respectively, which means Captain Scott Barrett moves back to the second row and Ethan Blackadder, who earlier this week was named 'Player of the Year' at the club's annual awards night, will start at openside flanker against the Reds. 

There are just two changes in the backs this week, with All Blacks David Havili and Will Jordan coming into the run-on side, in place of Jack Goodhue and Chay Fihaki.  

Robertson also confirmed that Vice-Captain Codie Taylor (ribs) and Richie Mo'unga (finger) are both on track to return for next week's Quarter Final. 

Kick off in the Crusaders match against the Reds is at the later time of 7:35pm, Friday 27th May at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch. The match will be televised live on Sky Sport. 

Crusaders team to play the Reds:

1. George Bower
2. Brodie McAlister
3. Oli Jager
4. Scott Barrett (C)
5. Sam Whitelock (VC)
6. Pablo Matera
7. Ethan Blackadder
8. Cullen Grace
9. Bryn Hall
10. Fergus Burke
11. Leicester Fainga'anuku 
12. David Havili (VC)
13. Braydon Ennor
14. Sevu Reece
15. Will Jordan 

RESERVES: 16. Ricky Jackson 17. Finlay Brewis 18. Tamaiti Williams 19. Zach Gallagher 20. Tom Christie 21. Mitch Drummond 22. Chay Fihaki 23. George Bridge


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