Crusaders call up their All Blacks

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 06:07
Large kieran read crusaders Large dan carter with crusaders t Large kieran read with fans

The Crusaders have called up all their big guns, including captain Kieran Read, for their third and final pre-season game, against the Waratahs in Sydney on Thursday.

The Crusaders have called up all their big guns, including captain Kieran Read, for their third and final pre-season game, against the Waratahs in Sydney on Thursday.

Read, Dan Carter, Israel Dagg, Robbie Fruean and Sam Whitelock are amongst 11 All Blacks named in the Crusaders 28-man squad.

Corey Flynn and Tom Donnelly also make their first appearance in the pre-season game taking their place on the bench.

The announcement of an all-star line up adds to the excitement ahead of this curtain raiser clash, with both sides looking to fine tune their Super Rugby preparations.

The home side is set to include a host of returning Wallabies when its announced on Wednesday, setting the stage for a cracking trans-Tasman rivalry.

The Crusaders will be looking for an improved performance this week against their Australian counterparts as well as taking the opportunity to establish combinations ahead of their first competition match against the Blues in Auckland on March 1.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements - from: Codie Taylor, Joe Moody, Dominic Bird, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Tom Marshall, Telusa Veianu, Shane Christie, Tom Donnelly, Corey Flynn.

Date: Thursday, February 14
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.30 (08.30 GMT; 21.30 NZ time)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Ian Smith (Australia), Michael Hogan (Australia)

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9