Crusaders named to face Chiefs in opening round

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Scott Robertson, Crusaders Head Coach, said he's eager to take on the Chiefs in their first game of the '23 season.  
“[The Chiefs] have capacity to go deep, they’ve got guys that can create so much. They’re physical, they’re tough. We love playing with them, they love playing with us. There’s a lot of history,” said Robertson.    
The Crusaders have a squad of promising new players on the rise, as well as experienced athletes in the mix. A high calibre of players to select from; week in, week out.   
Keep an eye out for two exciting players, Christian Lio-Willie and Macca Springer, as they potentially make their debut for the Crusaders on Friday. 

Robertson said as they look ahead to taking out a 7th straight title, for now the team is “focused on making sure we get this weekend right".  
“Making sure we get our connections and combos right for this week. Focusing on what’s required, just good energy and getting excited.”   
“It’s important we get our best team on,” Roberston said.    
David Havili will be stepping into Fullback after what Roberston described as, “what was the best thing for the team".   
"That’s a reflection of him as a player, the quality of skillset and experience he’s got.”    
Scott Barrett said, “the boys have put in plenty of work and are excited to get started.”  
"We're excited to be home and have the crowd turn out for us. 
Crusaders team to face the Chiefs:
1. Joe Moody
2. Codie Taylor (VC)
3. Fletcher Newell
4. Scott Barrett (C)
5. Mitchell Dunshea
6. Ethan Blackadder
7. Tom Christie
8. Cullen Grace
9. Mitchell Drummond
10. Richie Mo'unga
11. Leicester Fainga'anuku
12. Jack Goodhue
13. Braydon Ennor
14. Sevu Reece
15. David Havili (VC)

16. Brodie McAlister
17. George Bower
18. Tamaiti Williams
19. Zach Gallagher
20. Christian Lio-Willie*
21. Willi Heinz
22. Fergus Burke
23. Macca Springer*
* Denotes debut


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