Goodhue back for Crusaders

22 February 2019 07:16:11 EST
Sam Whitelock is on extended leave.

Jack Goodhue is back after a groin strain as the Crusaders look to maintain their winning start to the season against the Hurricanes on Saturday.

The defending champions saw Braydon Ennor perform well when standing in for Goodhue at centre in their round one victory away to the Blues.

But coach Scott Robertson has restored New Zealand international Goodhue to the side now he's fit. He's been named in a strong side for what is a rematch of last year's semi-final at the same venue when the Crusaders won 30-12.

Goodhue will start alongside second-five eighth Ryan Crotty in the only change to the starting side while Ennor drops to the bench to replace 20-year-old Will Jordan. Robertson has captain Sam Whitelock, No 8 Kieran Read, and hooker Codie Taylor on extended leave.

He has made an injury-enforced change on the bench where loosehead prop Harry Allan, who earned two caps last year, replaces the injured Tim Perry.

Assistant coach Brad Mooar said Ennor had done well in the 24-22 win over the Blues at Eden Park.

"It can be a bit tough on Braydon, but he's a young man and he's set his stall out there with a fantastic performance," he said.

"They (Ennor and Goodhue) will work together throughout the year. Nobody is going to play every game and they will bring the best out of each other; it's a great position to be in."

The Crusaders won't have to face All Blacks star Beauden Barrett, as the Hurricanes have left him out for the second consecutive week.

The Crusaders are 1/4 to beat the Hurricanes, who are 3/1 to emerge victorious.

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