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Big night tonight for Fergus Burke

Gisborne born-and-bred Fergus Burke will make his first start for the Crusaders tonight as the all-conquering team hosts the Western Force in Christchurch.

He gets his chance as All Black first five-eight Richie Mo'unga is being rested.

The 21-year-old Burke went to St Paul's Collegiate in Hamilton and was signed by the Crusaders academy.

In 2019 he played for New Zealand u20 and made his Canterbury debut.

He scored a try on his Crusaders debut last season against the Sunwolves in Brisbane and has made another seven appearances off the bench for the Crusaders this season.

Burke is the fourth player with Gisborne connections to appear for the Crusaders this year.

The others are All Black George Bridge, Maori All Black Whetukamokamo Douglas and Brendan O'Conner who captained Gisborne Boys' High School First XV to the national title in 2008.

O'Connor has also captained Hawke's Bay.

When O'Connor appeared for the Crusaders several weeks ago Sky commentator and Hawke's Bay resident Ian Smith described him as “a good Hawke's Bay boy”.