Havili fit and raring to go in 2021

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Assistant coach Scott Hansen said the team management was pleased with the way the side's newcomers were adapting to the Crusaders environment in their first pre-season with the team.

 

With injuries already having impacted on the team, Hansen said there was a prospect that centre Braydon Ennor's absence would see greater use of David Havili in the mid-field during the campaigns.

 

"We're lucky enough that we've got versatility there in Dave. We'll put the best team out that we can each week and players in positions we feel contribute. Dave can cover 10 [first five-eighths], 12 [second five-eighths], fullback also so we'll use that," he said.

 

"We're very lucky that we've got Dave who can fill those roles, not only fill them but fill them as a world-class distributor and game provider for us."

 

Havili said he was fully fit heading into the season and was looking to be competitive each week and pushing for whatever jersey he was required to play in, while also being consistent in all he did.

 

"When I'm playing well, I'm consistent and, hopefully, I can carry on what I started at Mitre 10 Cup level," he said.

 


From a fitness level, he felt he was close to his best and was looking forward to putting a full campaign together.

 

Renowned for his versatility he said it was something he thrived on yet also found frustrating on occasions.

 

"Any jersey I put on for the Crusaders I am going to do my best for the team, whether that's in the midfield or out the back. I'm looking forward to the challenge this year and especially with being able to play in the midfield," he said.

 

Havili admitted his preference was fullback because of the freedom it provided, allowing him to pop up anywhere in the backline or to be back taking high balls. It was something he enjoyed.

 

Hansen added, "One of the greatest strengths with the Crusaders backline is we've got players who can play wing, fullback for versatility there so Josh [McKay] is someone we're excited for in regard to the ability to play fullback and wing to cover those roles well for us," he said.

 

Hansen said first five-eighths Brett Cameron had a good off-season and had worked on his kicking skill-set. The five-eighths were all competing and their job was to be ready to contend with All Black Richie Mo'unga for the starting jersey when he returns.

 

"He [Cameron] did some brilliant things in the Mitre 10 last year. He's a guy that will continue to grow. He's only young and besides that, you've got Fergus Burke who, every opportunity he has had he has grabbed so there's great competition there for us and that's what we need," he said.

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