Richie Mounga

Mo'unga magic underpins Crusaders win

Mo'unga scored 28 points - a try, four conversions and five penalties - with Jack Goodhue, Codie Taylor and Sevu Reece also crossing for the Crusaders.

A big crowd had turned out at Eden Park hoping to see the home side snap a 12-match losing streak against the Crusaders going back to 2014, but the reigning champions took their chances clinically to extend their lead at the top of the standings.

Crusaders downplay Richie Mo'unga's heavily strapped knee

The Crusaders’ pivot caught the eyes of punters and pundits for it playing against the Hurricanes on Sunday, and was again strapped up for the team’s training session in Christchurch on Tuesday.

However, assistant coach Scott Hansen, who works closely with Mo’unga and the team’s other inside backs, said there was no need be alerted.

“I think it’s just Rich going through what he needs to do for training and a game. It hasn’t influenced his performances, he is happy enough,” Hansen said.

Wallabies expect All Blacks to name Richie Mo'unga in 10 jersey

There is plenty of selection debate in a number of areas in the All Blacks team ahead of their first Bledisloe Cup test against Australia in Wellington, and the most high profile comes at first receiver, with Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga battling for the role.

Mo’unga was the primary selection at 10 during the 2019 Rugby World Cup with Barrett at fullback, and it would be plausible for selectors to go with the Crusader again following a standout year in another Super Rugby title-winning season.

Canterbury bring Richie Mo'unga in for Ranfurly Shield head-to-head with Beauden Barrett

Mounga and Drummond both came on in the second half in Canterbury’s 43-29 win over North Harbour in Albany, while Saturday’s game will be Christie and Jager’s first in Canterbury colours for 2020.

Isaiah Punivai, has also been rewarded with a start in the number 13 jersey following his Man of the Match performance in Albany, replacing Dallas McLeod who is unavailable due to a toe injury.

We were really impressed with Isaiah on Friday, he came on and performed extremely well, so deservedly gets another opportunity,” Thorne added.

All Black Richie Mo'unga apologises after Crusaders filmed training

A group of Crusaders players, including Mo'unga, were filmed training at a Christchurch park on Monday.

The gathering appeared to go against the government's lockdown rules, but Mo'unga said it was a coincidence that the players were in the same place at the same time.

In an Instagram video, Mo'unga explained he could be a better role model and said he made no excuses.