Crusaders squad to face table-topping Hurricanes named

Zach Gallagher. Photo: Getty Images
Zach Gallagher. Photo: Getty Images
The Crusaders have never lost four games in a row.

But that’s the possibility facing under-fire coach Rob Penney tomorrow if the Super Rugby clash against the table-topping Hurricanes doesn’t go to plan.

It’s a daunting prospect for the 0-3 Crusaders, who will be without their captain Scott Barrett, a fractured finger suffered in training likely to keep him out for six weeks.

Zach Gallagher starts at lock in his place, while midfielder David Havili will captain the side while Barrett recovers.

Barrett’s enforced absence is a big blow, but Penney said it would provide an opportunity for younger members of the squad – notably Gallagher, plus reserve locks Jamie Hannah and Tahlor Cahill.

“(We’ve got) some really hungry young men determined to make their mark on this place. That’s their opportunity now.”

The other changes to this round’s starting team see Riley Hohepa get the nod at first-five after debuting off the bench in Fiji last week, while Taha Kemara misses out on the 23-man squad.

Macca Springer returns to the left wing in place of Heremaia Murray while Finlay Brewis, Owen Franks, Ryan Crotty and Dallas McLeod all return to the bench after missing the 20-10 loss to the Drua last week.

This is the first home match for the Crusaders this season, after away matches in Hamilton and Lautoka book-ending the Super Round in Melbourne.

Kick-off at Apollo Projects Stadium is at 7.05pm.

Crusaders v Hurricanes

Kickoff: 7.05pm Friday

Apollo Projects Stadium, Christchurch

Crusaders: 15 Chay Fihaki, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Levi Aumua, 12 David Havili (c), 11 Macca Springer, 10 Riley Hohepa, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Dominic Gardiner, 5 Zach Gallagher, 4 Quinten Strange, 3 Fletcher Newell, 2 George Bell, 1 George Bower

Bench: 16 Ioane Moananu, 17 Finlay Brewis, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Jamie Hannah, 20 Tahlor Cahill, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Ryan Crotty, 23 Dallas McLeod

Hurricanes: 15 Ruben Love, 14 Josh Moorby, 13 Billy Proctor (cc), 12 Riley Higgins, 11 Kini Naholo, 10 Brett Cameron, 9 Cam Roigard, 8 Brayden Iose, 7 Peter Lakai, 6 Devan Flanders, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Tucker, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua (c), 1 Tevita Mafileo

Bench: 16 James O'Reilly, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Pasilio Tosi, 19 Justin Sangster, 20 Du'Plessis Kirifi, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 23 Salesi Rayasi