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Quinten Strange of the Crusaders juggles the ball near the line during the Super Rugby Aotearoa clash the Chiefs.
Where: FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
Kick-off: 7:05pm, Saturday
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
NZ TAB odds (as of Friday PM): Chiefs $3.05, Crusaders $1.34
Weather forecast (as of Friday PM): Saturday forecast is for sunny spells with cloudy periods but the chance of an afternoon shower. Light winds with a high of 15C.
Chiefs: Damian McKenzie, Shaun Stevenson, Anton Lienert-Brown, Alex Nankivell, Sean Wainui, Aaron Cruden, Brad Weber; Pita Gus Sowakula, Sam Cane (c), Lachlan Boshier, Mitchell Brown, Tupou Vaa’i, Nepo Laulala, Bradley Slater, Reuben O’Neill. Reserves: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ollie Norris, Angus Ta’avao, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Simon Parker, Lisati Milo-Harris, Kaleb Trask, Quinn Tupaea.
Crusaders: Will Jordan, Sevu Reece, Fetuli Paea, Jack Goodhue, George Bridge, Richie Mo’unga, Mitchell Drummond; Tom Sanders, Tom Christie, Sione Havili, Mitchell Dunshea, Sam Whitelock, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor (c), George Bower. Reserves: Andrew Makalio, Isi Tu’ungafasi, Oliver Jager, Quinten Strange, Billy Harmon, Bryn Hall, Brett Cameron, Leicester Fainga’anuku.
The big storylines
Prediction: The luckless Chiefs will be desperate to stop the rot in Aaron Cruden’s centenary appearance for the franchise, but the visit of the defending champions means life doesn’t get any easier. The Crusaders will no doubt be hurting after their long, unbeaten home record was broken by the Hurricanes last week. They’re still in pole position to win the competition by finishing first and should be too good for the Chiefs, who are low on confidence, on a record losing run. Crusaders to win by 10.
How to follow: Stuff’s live blog will kick off at 6:35pm.