Injuries force a reshuffle in Highlanders backline for Crusaders clash

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Vahaakolo, who sustained the injury at training, will be replaced by Scott Gregory playing his first game of the 2021 Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa Season. Jona Nareki returns from injury to the left wing and Connor Garden-Bachop will get his second start at fullback.


Thomas Umaga-Jensen has earned a start and will partner the experienced Michael Collins in the midfield and Folau Fakatava rotates with Aaron Smith at halfback. Caleb Makene provides cover in the reserves for first-five and fullback and will play his debut for the Club should he take the field.


Following a cameo off the bench last week Japanese World Cup player, Kazuki Himeno, will start at number eight with Hugh Renton taking his place on the six forward/2 back reserves bench.



Crusaders v Highlanders - 7.05pm, Friday 2 April, Orange Theory Stadium, Christchurch


1.   Ethan De Groot

2.   Ash Dixon (cc)

3.   Siate Tokolahi

4.   Bryn Evans

5.   Paripari Parkinson

6.   Shannon Frizell

7.   Billy Harmon

8.   Kazuki Himeno  

9.   Folau Fakatava

10. Mitch Hunt

11  Jona Nareki

12. Thomas Umaga-Jensen

13. Michael Collins

14. Scott Gregory

15. Connor Garden-Bachop



16. Liam Coltman

17. Ayden Johnstone 

18. Josh Hohneck

19. Josh Dickson

20. Hugh Renton

21. Aaron Smith (cc)

22. Caleb Makene

23. James Lentjes



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