First Five- Eights
THE DYNAMIC Crusaders and Canterbury first five-eighth, who can also play at fullback, Richie Mo’unga first joined the All Blacks as injury cover for the third Bledisloe Cup Test in 2017. He then played for the UK Barbarians team that faced the All Blacks during the Vista Northern Tour, scoring the game’s opening try, before joining the All Blacks squad and made his debut off the bench against the French XV.
Mo’unga made his debut for the Crusaders in 2016, starting all 16 matches, and also starred in their Super Rugby-winning campaign in 2017. The composed and mature playmaker also played for the New Zealand Under 20 side in 2014.
At the end of the 2017 provincial season, Mo’unga was the leading points scorer, scoring 160 in just 10 games for Canterbury. He also broke the record for most points scored in a final when he scored 25 points against Tasman, earning him the man of the match award.
Mo'unga continued his strong form into the 2018 season, helping to lead the Crusaders to a second straight Super Rugby title. He was rewarded with a call up to the All Blacks squad for the Steinlager Series against France and made his debut from the bench in the final Test in Dunedin. Mo'unga had his first Test start in the Investec Rugby Championship match against Argentina in France which the All Blacks won 46-24 with Mo'unga scoring 16 points.
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