Super Rugby

O'Connor out as Reds name team to face Crusaders

The Reds have made three changes to their starting XV for Friday's Super Rugby clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Kick-off is at 08:05 (SA time).

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Isaac Lucas will wear the No 10 jersey for the second time this season with James O'Connor a late withdrawal due to an ankle injury.

Scott Malolua will start at scrumhalf in a new-look halfback combination alongside Lucas, while Lukhan Salakaia-Loto also comes into the starting side at lock.

Malolua's promotion sees Tate McDermott set to come on as a finisher in one-of-four changes to the reserves.

Bryce Hegarty has been recalled into the 23-man squad following Lucas' elevation to flyhalf.

Dane Zander comes in for Harry Hoopert as a replacement loosehead prop with Angus Blyth also taking his place in this week's side.

"We're looking forward to this week’s challenge in Christchurch," head coach Brad Thorn said.

"The Crusaders are a tough opposition - especially at home. We respect what they've done over the years. There's no better test than playing the best. We’re up for the contest on Friday night."

Teams:

Crusaders

15 George Bridge, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Dallas McLeod, 11 Leicester Faingaanuku, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Ere Enari, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Brodie McAlister, 17 George Bower, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Sione Havili, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Manasa Mataele

Reds

15 Jock Campbell, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Isaac Lucas, 9 Scott Malolua, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Liam Wright (captain), 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 JP Smith

Substitutes: 16 Ed Craig, 17 Dane Zander, 18 Josh Nasser, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Filipo Daugunu

- Reds Rugby

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