Crusaders Knights Head Coach Joe Maddock has named his 32-man squad for the 2017 season, which includes nine New Zealand U20 trialists, as well as current Canterbury and Tasman Mitre 10 Cup players.
The Crusaders development side, which was named following trials on 10 and 11 February at Lincoln University, features emerging Mitre 10 Cup, Academy and club players from throughout the region. Non-playing BNZ Crusaders squad members will also be involved, providing them with valuable game time.
Maddock says the trials highlighted the wealth of up and coming talent in the Crusaders region: “We were really impressed by the calibre of players who trialled last weekend, and believe we have a really strong squad for the upcoming matches against the Highlanders and Hurricanes development teams.
“These games provide a great opportunity for young players to represent the Crusaders region and gain some valuable experience alongside those who have already been involved at Mitre 10 Cup and Super Rugby level.”
The side will play their first of three matches on Saturday 25 February against the Highlanders development side (Bravehearts), with the match scheduled to kick off at 1:45 pm at Linfield Park in Christchurch. This will provide Christchurch fans with a chance to watch some top-class rugby throughout the afternoon, with the BNZ Crusaders first Investec Super Rugby match of 2017 set to take place afterwards, when they face the Brumbies from 7:35 pm at AMI Stadium.
The Crusaders Knights will play the Bravehearts for a second time on 4 March, in a match scheduled to be the curtain raiser for the BNZ Crusaders match against the Highlanders in Dunedin.
The team travel north to Levin for their final fixture against the Hurricanes development side on 25 March.
Crusaders Knights squad:
|Chris Gawler||Lincoln University||Canterbury|
|Nathan Vella||New Brighton||Canterbury|
|Pari Pari Parkinson||Stoke||Tasman|
|Jonno Osborne||Lincoln University||Canterbury|
|Jack Powell||Lincoln University||Canterbury|
|Sam Godwin||University of Canterbury||Canterbury|
|Ere Enari||Lincoln University||Canterbury|
|Jack Stratton||Lincoln University||Canterbury|
|Brett Cameron||Lincoln University||Tasman|
|Braydon Ennor||University of Canterbury||Canterbury|
|Nigel Gibb||University of Canterbury||Canterbury|
|Caleb Makene||Lincoln University||Canterbury|
|Ngane Punivai||Lincoln University||Canterbury|
|Josh McKay||Lincoln University||Canterbury|