Young halves set to start for Crusaders in Melbourne Super Round

Noah Hotham. Photo: Getty Images
Noah Hotham. Photo: Getty Images
The Crusaders have named an inexperienced new halves pairing for their Super Rugby Pacific clash with the Waratahs in Melbourne on Saturday.

Highly-touted young halfback Noah Hotham starts in place of Mitchell Drummond - just his fourth run-on appearance for the red-and-blacks.

First-five Taha Kemara. Photo: Getty Images
First-five Taha Kemara. Photo: Getty Images
Meanwhile, it will be first-five Taha Kemara’s first start, replacing the injured Rivez Reihana.

The pair, both 20, came off the bench in the Crusaders’ 33-29 loss to the Chiefs last week but have been handed the reins against a Waratahs team that lost 40-22 to the Reds.

Meanwhile, All Blacks prop Fletcher Newell’s return from concussion could not have come at a better time.

He replaces Tamaiti Williams who suffered a "significant hamstring injury" last week.

Midfielder David Havili also returns from an extended break, slotting into the No 12 jersey in a move that pushes Dallas McLeod to the bench.

The bench is largely the same, aside from McLeod’s move from the run-on team while Drummond swaps with Hotham.

The match is a part of the Super Round, where all games are played at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

The Crusaders game kicks off at 9.35pm NZT.

Line-up: Chay Fihaki, Sevu Reece, Levi Aumua, David Havili, Macca Springer, Taha Kemara, Noah Hotham, Cullen Grace, Tom Christie, Dominic Gardiner, Quentin Strange, Scott Barrett (c), Fletcher Newell, George Bell, George Bower. RESERVES: Quentin MacDonald, Joe Moody, Owen Franks, Jamie Hannah, Christian Lio-Willie, Mitchell Drummond, Ryan Crotty, Dallas McLeod.