Newcomers get chance with Crusaders
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 Lynn McConnell Getty Images
The team will be captained by halfback Mitch Drummond.
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said the opportunity to play the French Barbarians, and another game against the Force in Perth next week, meant players who had been training with the side could have games during the June window while they provided game time for those in the squad not involved in Tests, especially with the Super Rugby bye tied into their programme.
#onthisday 20 years ago, May 30th 1998, we claimed our first @SuperRugbyNZ title with a 20-13 win over the @BluesRugbyTeam at Eden Park ???? Sign up to https://t.co/O9uVc8DhQf to watch the game again! #wewill #crusadeon #crusadersforlife #legends pic.twitter.com/jOFes857Dj— BNZ Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) May 30, 2018
"There're a lot of young guys who are playing for potential contracts next year for the Crusaders and for us they've trained a lot and hard for us and now it's a chance for them to wear it [the jersey] and get a game," he said.
"The French Barbarians are a team that is a little bit of the unknown but [they have] that French flair they can create, there's a lot of experience in the group they've named and there's youth as well so they'll be well-matched teams," he said.
The coaches had some idea of what to expect having seen footage of a recent game the Barbarians played against Georgia.
"There's always a bit of excitement when you've got the French touring so it's a good Friday night match and a chance for us to play in front of our people," he said.
Whetu Douglas has been named on the bench in the side. Robertson explained that Hamish Bedwell-Curtis was suffering a hip injury and Douglas, who is signed for the Crusaders next year after a stint in Italy, was in Christchurch to prepare for the Mitre 10 Cup programme with Canterbury and was keen to get some game time.
"He's a familiar face and he knows the systems and structures and he's slotted in after a couple of trainings so it's perfect," he said.
Among those not considered were, Tim Bateman who has a hamstring injury, David Havili who is resting a high ankle sprain and Seta Tamanivalu who has had a blow to his knee.
NEWS | The Investec #SuperRugby season will be played uninterrupted in 2019.
SCHEDULE ?? https://t.co/GygI2KYjge pic.twitter.com/hHT2x3JYYw— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) June 11, 2018
New second five-eighths Rameka Hohipi played in the New Zealand Under-20s trials and was a player they were watching with an eye to a contract next year, Robertson said.
The five-eighths could kick and play and would give the Crusaders some depth in the future.
The Crusaders team is: 1.Donald Brighouse, 2.Andrew Makalio, 3.Michael Alaalatoa, 4.Quinten Strange, 5.Hamish Dalzell, 6.Mitchell Dunshea, 7.Billy Harmon, 8.Ethan Blackadder, 9.Mitchell Drummond (captain), 10.Mike Delany, 11.Jone Macilai, 12.Rameka Pohipi, 13.Tima Faingaanuku, 14.Israel Dagg, 15.Mitchell Hunt.
Substitutes: 16.Seb Siataga, 17.Ryan Coxon, 18.Chris King, 19.Luke Romano, 20.Whetu Douglas, 21.Jack Stratton, 22.Sam Beard, 23.Caleb Makene.
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