Crusaders shuffle deck for Lions clash

The Crusaders, fresh from a bye, host the Lions this week in Christchurch, and head coach Scott Robertson has made changes to his side.

In the forwards, Codie Taylor returns to start at hooker and, with both Scott Barrett and Matt Todd on All Blacks rest, Quinten Strange and Billy Harmon have been given an opportunity to start on Friday. Mitch Dunshea has also been named in the team, providing cover on the bench.

Mitch Drummond will start at scrum-half for this game and Ereatara Enari takes a spot in the reserves. There is a reshuffle in the backline with George Bridge returning to the wing, Braydon Ennor moving in from the wing to the midfield and Sevu Reece lining up on the right wing.

Finally, 20 year-old Ngane Punivai is set to make his debut for the Crusaders on Friday, having been named on the bench for the game.

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Quinten Strange, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Mitchell Dunshea, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Ereatara Enari, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Ngane Punivai

Date: Friday, April 26 Venue: Christchurch Stadium Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT) Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand) Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), James Munro (New Zealand) TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)