Crusaders, Lions make minor changes for Super Rugby final
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The defending champion Crusaders and the Lions have made only minor changes to their starting lineups for Saturday's Super Rugby final.
The Christchurch-based Crusaders made one injury-enforced change with Heiden Bedwell-Curtis starting at blindside flanker to replace Jordan Taufua, who broke his arm last weekend's semifinal win over the Hurricanes.
The Johannesburg-based Lions, beaten finalists in the last two years, have made two changes. Cyle Brink returns at openside flanker, replacing Lourens Erasmus, and Courtnall Skosan will start on the left wing ahead of Aphiwe Dyantyi.
Crusaders: David Havili, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Bryn Hall, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Sam Whitelock (captain), Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody. Reserves: Sam Anderson-Heather/Andrew Makalio, Tim Perry, Michael Alaalatoa, Luke Romano, Pete Samu, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, Braydon Ennor.
Lions: Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrink, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Courtnal Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje, Warren Whiteley (captain), Cyle Brink, Kwagga Smith, Franco Mostert, Marvin Orie, Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen. Reserves: Corne Fourie, Dylan Smith, Johannes Jonker, Lourens Erasmus, Marnus Schoeman, Dillon Smit, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Howard Mnisi.