Whitelock to auction off 150th game jersey

Crusaders stalwart Sam Whitelock is set to play his 150th game for the franchise on Saturday....
Crusaders stalwart Sam Whitelock is set to play his 150th game for the franchise on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images
Sam Whitelock is set to become the seventh player to bring up his 150th game for the Crusaders when he takes to the field against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

And he is using the upcoming milestone to support the farming community by auctioning off his 150th Crusaders game jersey for rural well-being group Farmstrong. As of Friday morning, bidding for the jersey had reached $4000. The auction closes on August 6 at 10.10am.

Whitelock and Farmstrong are also calling for people to nominate "a deserving farming family" to spend the afternoon at the Crusaders v Highlanders game in Christchurch on August 9. Nominations close at 5pm on Monday, August 3 - enter your nomination here.

Whitelock told TVNZ's Breakfast playing for so long is something he cherishes.

"It's been awesome," he said.

Meanwhile, coach Scott Robertson has made two changes to his pack for this Saturday's game, with George Bower joining the starting side and Isileli Tu'ungafasi providing cover at loosehead prop on the bench.

Joe Moody will not travel to Hamilton due to a family bereavement.

Flanker Sione Havili joins the starting side in the No 6 jersey, with Tom Sanders shifting to No 8 in place of Whetukamokamo Douglas, who is recovering from a medial ligament injury.   

There is just one further change in the backline this week, with Mitchell Drummond earning a start, and Bryn Hall named on the bench.

Whitelock is putting his match jersey up for auction to raise funds for Farmstrong. Photo: Supplied
Whitelock is putting his match jersey up for auction to raise funds for Farmstrong. Photo: Supplied
Fetuli Paea will once again line up in the midfield alongside Jack Goodhue, with Braydon Ennor still recovering from the toe injury he sustained in the Blues game.    

"First and foremost, the thoughts of the Crusaders team and our wider organisation are with Joe Moody and his family at this very sad time, and we'll certainly be thinking of them when we take the field on Saturday night," Robertson said.

"As a group, we're also really proud to be celebrating Sam's 150-game milestone this week, he is such a quality leader and a massive contributor to our team. He's a proud Crusader, and I know the side is keen to show him plenty of respect with our performance.

"We had a really honest review following the Hurricanes game, and identified areas we need to get better this week. We're coming up against a Chiefs side who have only been beaten by the smallest of margins so far in this competition, and will be desperate for a win in front of their home fans." 

Crusaders

15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Fetuli Paea, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Sione Havili, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (captain), 1 George Bower

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Isi Tu'ungafasi, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Billy Harmon, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Leicester Fainga'anuku

Chiefs

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tupou Vaa'i, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Reuben O'Neill

Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Simon Parker, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Kaleb Trask, 23 Quinn Tupaea

 

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