8 Jun 2017

Strong Crusaders team to take on Lions

3:59 pm on 8 June 2017

The Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has included six All Blacks in his starting fifteen to take on the British and Irish Lions in Christchurch on Saturday.

Former All Black Scott Robertson has been appointed as Crusaders' coach replacing Todd Blackadder.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson Photo: Photosport

He's named an All Black tight five of Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Luke Romano and Sam Whitelock, while Israel Dagg is at fullback.

Wyatt Crocket is in the reserves.

Israel Dagg (r) celebrates with Owen Franks of the Crusaders following their win over the Highlanders.

Crusaders and All Blacks Wyatt Crocket and Israel Dagg Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Crusaders are unbeaten with 14 wins at the top of the Super Rugby standings.

Robertson said the team is under no illusions about how tough this British and Irish Lions team will be.

"This is a huge and exciting challenge for us. We are facing some of the best rugby players in the world, but we have some of the world's best in this team too, so it will be a fantastic clash.

"No matter how it unfolds, this will be a game that the players involved will remember as one of the special moments in their careers. Not that many players get the opportunity to play in a British and Irish Lions tour, and to do that in front of a sellout crowd at AMI Stadium in our Crusaders colours is going to be an awesome occasion for the team and for the fans in the stands," Robertson said.

The only changes to the team that beat the HIghlanders last weekend are a rotation at halfback with Bryn Hall starting and Mitchell Drummond on the bench; a switch to second five for David Havili with Israel Dagg coming in at fullback; and Tim Bateman coming in via the bench.

Crusaders team to play the British & Irish Lions:

1. Joe Moody

2. Codie Taylor

3. Owen Franks

4. Luke Romano

5. Sam Whitelock (C)

6. Heiden Bedwell-Curtis

7. Matt Todd (VC)

8. Jordan Taufua

9. Bryn Hall

10. Richie Mo'unga

11. George Bridge

12. David Havili

13. Jack Goodhue

14. Seta Tamanivalu

15. Israel Dagg


16. Ben Funnell

17. Wyatt Crockett

18. Michael Alaalatoa

19. Quinten Strange

20. Jed Brown

21. Mitchell Drummond

22. Mitchell Hunt

23. Tim Bateman