Crusaders name seven All Blacks for Lions clash

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The British and Irish Lions will face a Crusaders squad featuring seven New Zealand players on Saturday.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson named a strong line-up for this weekend's clash against a Lions side reeling from a 22-16 loss to Blues.

With Blues sitting bottom of a Super Rugby New Zealand Conference that is topped by Crusaders, the Lions can expect a stern test against a 23-man squad including the likes of Sam Whitelock, Israel Dagg and Wyatt Crockett.

The other All Blacks in the selection are Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks and Luke Romano.

Robertson said: "This is a huge and exciting challenge for us. We are facing some of the best rugby players in the world, but we have some of the world's best in this team too, so it will be a fantastic clash.

"No matter how it unfolds, this will be a game that the players involved will remember as one of the special moments in their careers.

"Not that many players get the opportunity to play in a British and Irish Lions tour, and to do that in front of a sellout crowd at AMI Stadium in our Crusaders colours is going to be an awesome occasion for the team and for the fans in the stands."

Lions coach Warren Gatland named Alun Wyn Jones as captain of an experienced side for the clash, with Jonathan Davies, Conor Murray, George North and Sean O'Brien all set to make their first appearances of the tour.

Meanwhile, the Maori All Blacks also released details of their 27-man squad for the June 17 showdown in Rotorua, with Ihaia West - scorer of the winning try for Blues - included, along with Nehe Milner-Skudder.

 

Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, David Havili, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Bryn Hall; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua

Replacements: Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett, Michael Alaalatoa, Quinten Strange, Jed Brown, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, Tim Bateman