Mitch Drummond to notch up 100 games for the Crusaders against the Chiefs

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The 27-year-old will lead the team out on to the field in Hamilton on Saturday night, notching up the achievement in his eighth season of Super Rugby. 

 

Head Coach Scott Robertson has made multiple changes to the side this week, following their thrilling golden-point win over the Hurricanes in Round 7. 

 

Captain Scott Barrett is the only forward to remain in the starting side to face the Chiefs, and will move to the blindside. George Bower, Brodie McAlister and Michael Alaalatoa complete an all-new front row, while Mitch Dunshea and Quinten Strange have been given the nod as the starting locks. Following a successful return from injury last week, Tom Sanders will wear the number 7 jersey against the Chiefs, and Ethan Blackadder is back after being rested last week with a neck injury. 

 

There are just two changes in the backs this week, with Drummond to start, and Leicester Fainga'anuku replacing Jack Goodhue in the midfield, who injured his left knee against the Hurricanes. Goodhue will require surgery, and is not expected to be available for any further rugby in 2021.

 

Isileli Tu'ungafasi, Luke Romano and Manasa Mataele could all make their first appearance in Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa for the 2021 season, having been named in the reserves. 

Robertson acknowledged Drummond's dedication to the Crusaders over the past eight seasons, in celebrating his 100th game: "He's just Mr. Consistent," Robertson said.

 

"He's got the best out of all his talent and he means a lot to this team. Growing up, wanting to be a Crusader and reaching this milestone, is pretty special for him and his family."

 

Kick off in the Crusaders game against the Chiefs is 7:05pm, Saturday 17th April, at FMG Stadium Waikato, in Hamilton. The match will also be televised live on Sky Sport.

 

Crusaders team to play the Chiefs:

 

1.  George Bower

2.  Brodie McAlister

3.  Michael Alaalatoa

4.  Mitchell Dunshea

5.  Quinten Strange

6.  Scott Barrett (C)

7.  Tom Sanders

8.  Ethan Blackadder

9.  Mitchell Drummond*

10. Richie Mo'unga

11. George Bridge 

12. David Havili (VC)

13. Leicester Fainga'anuku

14. Sevu Reece

15. Will Jordan

 

RESERVES:

 

16. Codie Taylor (VC)

17. Isileli Tu'ungafasi

18. Oliver Jager

19. Luke Romano

20. Sione Havili Talitui

21. Bryn Hall

22. Dallas McLeod

23. Manasa Mataele

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