Super Rugby

New loosie for Crusaders against Stormers

Billy Harmon (Getty Images)
Billy Harmon (Getty Images)

Christchurch - Billy Harmon will earn his first start in a Crusaders jersey at openside flank when the Stormers visit AMI Stadium on Saturday.

The other change to the starting pack sees the Crusaders' latest centurion, Luke Romano, taking a spot on the bench with All Blacks team-mate Scott Barrett to partner Sam Whitelock in the second row.

Meanwhile, head coach Scott Robertson has named an unchanged backline from the side that defeated the Chiefs last weekend.

Hooker Andrew Makalio and loose forward Heiden Bedwell-Curtis have both been named in the match-day 23, after turning out for the Crusaders Knights team last weekend. They provide cover for Codie Taylor and Harmon respectively.

Romano, who made his debut for the Crusaders back in 2011, is now the team's 18th Super Rugby centurion. Robertson said his Crusaders team-mates were determined to celebrate the milestone with a good performance on Saturday.

"Luke is a valued member of our team, and has given his all every time he's taken the field for the Crusaders over the past seven seasons. He had an immense 2017 campaign and was an important part of our success, so I know the boys will want to put a performance befitting this milestone on the field come Saturday night," Robertson said.

"100 Super Rugby games is a real testament to Luke's character; he's not only an uncompromising competitor, but is also a loyal Crusaders man and a great leader. It's a special milestone and one we look forward to celebrating with Luke and his family."

Saturday's clash is scheduled for 08:35 (SA time).

Teams:

Crusaders

15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Peter Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Chris King, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele

Stormers

15 SP Marais, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Dillyn Leyds, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Resnburg

Substitutes: 16 Dean Muir, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Kobus van Dyk, 22 Justin Phillips, 23 George Whitehead

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