Robbie Coetzee, Nic Groom, Shaun Reynolds and Ruan Combrinck all got the nod to start the Highvelders’ last fixture on their Australasian tour.

Coetzee gets a start in place of Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx, who is back in South Africa as part of the Springbok rest protocols, while Jan-Henning Campher provides bench cover. 

Reynolds fills the flyhalf berth as replacement for the injured Gianni Lombard while Elton Jantjies stays at inside centre after an impressive performance against the Chiefs. Combrinck will run out at fullback in place of the regular No 15, Andries Coetzee, and Groom rotates at scrumhalf with Ross Cronje.

In the Crusaders pack, All Black Codie Taylor is now the starting hooker, while lock Quinten Strange and flank Billy Harmon replace Scott Barrett and Matt Todd, who are rested. Mitch Drummond has been selected at scrumhalf and there is a reshuffle out wide with All Black George Bridge coming in on left wing, Braydon Ennor (wing) moving to centre and Sevu Reece right wing.

UPDATE: In a late change to the Emirates Lions team, Warren Whiteley was withdrawn from the encounter due to injury. His place in a revamped loose trio went to Marnus Schoeman, with Kwagga Smith taking over the captaincy and Hacjivah Dayimani coming onto the bench.


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 (captain), 4 Quinten Strange, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody. Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Michael Dunshea, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Ereatara Enari, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Ngane Punivai.

Emirates Lions (updated team): 15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Elton Jantjies, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Kwagga Smith (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Sti Sithole. Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan Mcbeth, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Franco Naude, 23 Tyrone Green.

Head to head:
Played: 14
Crusaders won: 11
Emirates Lions won: 3
Crusaders points: 387 
Emirates Lions points: 257
Average score: 28-18

Match information:
Date: Friday, 26 April 
SA time: 09h35
Venue: Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser, James Munro
Television Match Official: Aaron Paterson
TV: SuperSport1