English Canterbury hooker Tom Crozier added to the Manawatu Turbos mix via loan

Tom Crozier will make his Manawatu debut if he gets off the bench against Waikato on Saturday.
Warwick Smith

Tom Crozier will make his Manawatu debut if he gets off the bench against Waikato on Saturday.

 

Englishman Tom Crozier is determined to repay the faith Turbos coach Jeremy Cotter has shown in him.

The addition of the Canterbury loan player and illness ruling out Otere Black were the two major talking points of the Manawatu team named to take on Waikato in Hamilton on Saturday.

Crozier, 24, has been named on the bench for the match with Sione Asi dropping out of the 23 and Tuki Raimona back to covering his preferred position of prop.

A loan deal for Crozier, who played two games for Canterbury last season including his debut off the bench in a loss to Manawatu, was finalised on Sunday.

The Sumner club player, who first appeared on the Manawatu radar after playing under Bryan Matenga last year, said he was itching for his chance to get on the field.

"Jeremy has put a lot of faith in me that I believe is well placed and I want to pay him back for that," he said.

He was part of the Northampton academy as a youngster in England, before playing National League One university rugby for Loughborough for three years.

It was during that time he transitioned from a loose forward to a hooker, but also dealt with a couple of serious shoulder injuries.

He then ended up playing for Bishop's Stortford when the idea of playing rugby in New Zealand came up.

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A phone call from then Canterbury coach Scott Robertson confirmed his move.

"As soon as I heard that man's passion and his drive for the game, it was a no brainer. He was definitely the catalyst for me. If someone has that passion for the game and I am 12,000 miles away, that is something I want to be a part of."

Now in his third year in New Zealand, he said the plan was to stay here.

"Any opportunity I have here, I am going to throw myself 100 percent into."

Meanwhile, the Turbos will be without their playmaker in Black.

Black, who has started all three games, was ruled out of the game on Thursday after he failed to recover from an illness that he has been battling since the weekend.

Jade Te Rure will make his first start for Manawatu since 2014 in his place.

Te Rure has come off the bench in every match this season and will be relishing his shot with extended minutes.

Jason Emery returns at second five-eighth in place of Hamish Northcott, who drops to the bench, after successfully navigating his return from an achilles injury from the bench against Bay of Plenty last week.

Emery will cover first five-eighth should anything happen to Te Rure.

Newton Tudreu also gets his first start of the season coming onto the right wing in place of Ambrose Curtis.

A knee injury ruled out any chance of Te Rangatira Waitokia making his Turbos debut.

With blindside flanker Nick Crosswell out with a neck injury, captain Heiden Bedwell-Curtis shifts to No 6 with Brice Henderson starting at No 8.

Harrison Brewer takes a spot on the bench for the second time this season.

The match will be the blazer (20th) games for Manawatu for Tim Cadwallader and Kurt Baker.

Manawatu: 15 Kurt Baker (Kia Toa), 14 Newton Tudreu (Kia Toa), 13 Lewis Marshall (FOB-Oroua), 12 Jason Emery (Kia Toa), 11 Willy Ambaka (FOB-Oroua), 10 Jade Te Rure (Kia Toa), 9 Kayne Hammington (Feilding), 8 Brice Henderson (COB), 7 Antonio Kiri Kiri (OBM), 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis (c) (Feilding), 5 Jackson Hemopo (Kia Toa), 4 Tom Parsons (Te Kawau), 3 Michael Alaalatoa (FOB-Oroua), 2 Tim Cadwallader (COB), 1 Fraser Armstrong (OBM). Reserves: 16 Tom Crozier (Sumner - Canterbury), 17 Tuki Raimona (COB), 18 Sean Paranihi (FOB-Oroua), 19 Liam Mitchell (Te Kawau), 20 Harrison Brewer (Te Kawau), 21 Jamie Booth (Varsity), 22 Hamish Northcott (Varsity), 23 Ambrose Curtis (OBM)

Waikato: 15 Zac Guildford, 14 Bailyn Sullivan, 13 Pita Ahki, 12 Tevita Taufui, 11 Sevu Reece, 10 Sam Christie, 9 Harrison Levien, 8 Adam Burn, 7 Mitch Jacobson, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 James Tucker, 4 Leva Fifita, 3 Sefo Kautai, 2 Hame Faiva, 1 Loni Uhila. Reserve: 16 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17 Latu Talakai, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Sam Caird, 20 Jordan Manihera, 21 Pele Cowley, 22 Matty Lansdown, 23 Tyler Campbell

 - Stuff

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