Dagg dumped; starting role for Carter

Thu, 02 May 2013 08:52
Large dan carter crusaders2 Large israel dagg crusaders kick Large israeldaggdancarter Large dan carter crusaders Large israeldaggcrusaderstraining

The Crusaders will be bolstered by the return to the starting line-up of All Black ace Dan Carter, but have dumped out of form Israel Dagg.

The Crusaders will be bolstered by the return to the starting line-up of All Black ace Dan Carter, as they head to Canberra on Sunday to face the table-topping Brumbies.

Carter, who played 25 minutes off the bench last week, missed four weeks through the birth of his son and injury.

The inclusion of Carter is among five changes made by coach Todd Blackadder, with World Cup-winning All Black Israel Dagg dropped to the bench.

Dagg's inconsistency this season has resulted in his relegation to the Crusaders' bench.

Dagg's omission from the match in Canberra is the biggest surprise, with the backline shuffled to move Tom Taylor into the No.15 jersey.

Blackadder says Taylor is a top kicker who does the basics well.

"It just comes down to form and Israel has been really inconsistent," Blackadder said on Thursday.

"So we've decided to take him out of the hot seat and sit him on the bench. He'll get his opportunity to play his way back into the team, but right now that opportunity has gone."

Dagg, 24, has struggled to find his attacking verve this season, most notably in the four games since returning from a hamstring injury.

Match statistics also show he missed all four of his attempted tackles against the Rebels.

First-choice pair Andy Ellis and Wyatt Crockett are restored at scrumhalf and prop respectively, demoting Willi Heinz and Joe Moody to the bench.

Robbie Fruean returns at outside centre, pushing Ryan Crotty in one place to inside centre and Taylor to the back.

There is still no return for All Black No.8 Kieran Read, who will miss a fifth game because of his injured toe.

Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock (captain), 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements:  16 Ben Funnell,  17  Joe Moody,  18  Dominic Bird,  19  Jordan Taufua,  20  Willi Heinz,  21  Adam Whitelock,  22  Israel Dagg.

Date: Sunday, May 5
Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 16.05 (18.05 NZ time; 06.05 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)

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Team P W D L Pts
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Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 12 3 1 8 16
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Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
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Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
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Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
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Kings 12 2 0 10 9