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Round 9 v Force: Team Naming

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Our boys are in the second leg of their Australia Tour, camped in Perth and eager to climb the ladder and get some points to pull away from the doldrums of the competition table.


The coaches have named their team to take on the Western Force at HBF Park in Perth on Saturday 20 April. Kick off is 5.35pm in Perth, 9.35pm in New Zealand.


A raft of changes have been made from the team that lost to the Waratahs in Sydney last week in dramatic fashion, a golden-point drop goal from Will Harrison sending the blue jerseys into fits of joy.


Joe Moody, Brodie McAlister and Owen Franks have come in as your starting front row, while Christian Lio-Willie starts in place of Cullen Grace who will come off the bench when needed, as will Dom Gardiner.


Tom Christie captains the side once again – expect a cool calm head from him on Saturday. The rest of the forward pack remains unchanged, responsibility in the locks resting on the shoulders of Jamie Hannah and vice-captain Quinten Strange. Ethan Blackadder earns the start once again after his comeback last week paid dividends across the paddock. 

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Mitch Drummond will pull on the halfback jersey in the starting XV, Noah Hotham on the bench. Riley Hohepa will kick off the tee at 10 with Rivez Reihana ready to take over.


Johnny McNicholl has flown home to Christchurch to have a finger injury assessed and Macca Springer will start at 11. Ryan Crotty answered the call and flew across the ditch and he’ll get the nod off the bench to inject wisdom and pace when required.


Sevu Reece is first equal with Caleb Ralph as Crusaders all-time top try scorer, set to take over should he touch down again this weekend and make it 53 tries.


Dallas McLeod and Levi Aumua will look to tear up the centre field, their combination coming together nicely as they play more and more together.


And so we go again. It’s a Round 9 crunch game in Perth. It’s the Western Force. Let’s get the job done. 

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