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The Highlanders have the unenviable task of hosting the Crusaders to begin Round 4 of Super Rugby Aotearoa. Join The Roar for live scores from 5:05pm (AEST).
The Crusaders have been busy doing Crusader things of late. They weren’t at their best in either of their matches to date, but Scott Robertson’s men have found a way to win both of them.
The Highlanders look a far better side than the one which started the year, and they threatened to upset the Blues last week only for the Auckland side to emerge with the points. Still, the Dunedin side used their break to discover some much-needed improvements, and are no longer the easybeats many predicted heading into the Aotearoa competition, and they actually won their last home game against the Crusaders – although it was some two years ago.
Robertson has made five changes for this one, including resting winger George Bridge and halfback Bryn Hall. Leicester Faingaanuku and Mitch Drummond are their respective replacements, while David Havili has been slotted in at fullback and Sevu Reece moved to the bench.
Aaron Mauger has gone with a more settled lineup, although there’s a re-jigged front row with an emphasis on mobility for the hosts today; Daniel Lienert-Brown, Liam Coltman and Jeff Twaites start up front.
Kick-off: 5:05pm (AEST)
Venue: FMG Stadium Waikato
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports
1. Daniel Lienert-Brown 2. Liam Coltman 3. Jeff Thwaites 4. Paripari Parkinson 5. Josh Dickson 6. Shannon Frizell 7. Dillon Hunt 8. Marino Mikaele Tu’u 9. Aaron Smith (c) 10. Mitch Hunt 11. Jona Nareki 12. Patelesio Tomkinson 13. Rob Thompson 4. Ngatungane Punivai 15. Michael Collins
Bench: 16. Ash Dixon (c) 17. Ayden Johnstone 18. Siate Tokolahi 19. Jack Whetton 20. Teariki Ben-Nicholas 21. Kayne Hammington 22. Bryn Gatland 23. Vilimoni Koroi
1. Joe Moody 2. Codie Taylor (c) 3. Michael Alaalatoa 4. Samuel Whitelock 5. Mitchell Dunshea 6. Ethan Blackadder 7. Tom Christie 8. Whetukamokamo Douglas 9. Mitchell Drummond 10. Richie Mo’unga 11. Leicester Faingaanuku 12. Jack Goodhue 13. Braydon Ennor 14. Will Jordan 15. David Havili
Bench: 16. Andrew Makalio 17. George Bower 18. Oliver Jager 19. Quinten Strange 20. Sione Havili 21. Ereatara Enari 22. Fetuli Paea 23. Sevu Reece