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Crusaders excited to put their game against Moana Pasifika in Dunedin on Friday.

Crusaders
Photo by The Daily Rugby

Moana Pasifika may have had a frustrating start to life in DHL Super Rugby Pacific, but the Crusaders are preparing for a big occasion for Super Rugby in Dunedin on Friday. After two rescheduled draws and a Covid-enforced postponement, Moana Pasifika will finally begin their Super Rugby Pacific journey on Friday night.

While getting a feel for the Moana Pasifika game is contained to their pre-season outing against the Chiefs, Crusaders assistant coach Scott Hansen said they had poured over that coverage. They understood the newcomers would be looking to get their momentum by using their big ball carriers and playing their brand of rugby.

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Crusaders stars Richie Mo’unga and Codie Tayor will both be available for selection this weekend when their side face Moana Pasifika this weekend.

“We’re excited to put our game against theirs,” he said.

Hansen said the Crusaders would field a hungry team for the game, and there was a chance for newer players to be included.

“We’ll need to be at our best and we’ll be driving that mindset this week,” he said.

Hansen confirmed that returning All Blacks Richie Mo’unga and Codie Taylor would be available for selection.

“They’ve come in and they’ve trained well. They’re absolutely class players. They’ve got a huge part and role in the Crusaders’ environment and we expect them to be at their best straight up,” he said.

Neither of the two All Blacks have featured for the Crusaders in the opening two rounds of Super Rugby Pacific, with both players remaining in Christchurch while the side travelled to Queenstown for New Zealand Rugby’s two-week Covid bubble.

However, Crusaders assistant coach Scott Hansen confirmed on Monday that Mo’unga and Taylor will both be available to face Moana Pasifika in Christchurch this Friday.

With a near-clean bill of health, the Crusaders selectors will almost have a full squad to pick from, and, based on Hansen’s comments, there are some who could make their first Super Rugby appearances of the year, or in their career.

New recruit and three-test All Blacks halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi headlines the list of players who haven’t taken to the field for the Crusaders thus far in 2022 after finding himself behind Bryn Hall and Mitchell Drummond in the No 9 jersey.

Chay Fihaki and ex-Chiefs flyer Kini Naholo may also come into contention in the outside backs, as could Dallas McLeod and Isaiah Punivai in the midfield.

Richie Mo’unga and Codie Taylor available for Crusaders against Moana Pasifika

Crusaders stars Richie Mo’unga and Codie Tayor will both be available for selection this weekend when their side face Moana Pasifika this weekend.

Neither of the two All Blacks have featured for the Crusaders in the opening two rounds of Super Rugby Pacific, with both players remaining in Christchurch while the side travelled to Queenstown for New Zealand Rugby’s two-week Covid bubble.

However, Crusaders assistant coach Scott Hansen confirmed on Monday that Mo’unga and Taylor will both be available to face Moana Pasifika in Christchurch this Friday.

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