Crusaders' All Blacks benched

Thu, 27 Jun 2013 08:23
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Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has named an All Black-laden bench for his team's classic Southern Derby.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has named an All Black-laden bench for his team's classic Southern Derby, as their Super Rugby campaign resumes against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday.

Blackadder made a number of changes to the starting line-up, but more significant is the appearance of All Blacks Corey Flynn, 17 Wyatt Crockett, Luke Romano and Kieran Read on the bench.

The forward pack sees a number of changes - with Joe Moody starting at loosehead prop and Nepo Laulala at tighthead.

All Black Owen Franks is recovering from an elbow infection and is out of consideration for this match.

Corey Flynn returns from a hamstring injury, but only gets a place on the bench - with Ben Funnell starting in the No.2 jersey.

If he makes it of the bench the game will mark a significant occasion for Flynn, who is set to become the most capped Crusader - with 130 matches under his belt.

He surpasses Crusaders legend Reuben Thorne.

Locks Tom Donnelly and Sam Whitelock make the starting fifteen, while Luke Romano will join All Black captain Kieran Read on the replacement bench.

Luke Whitelock starts in the No.8 jersey.

The backs have a more familiar look to the selection that featured before the June break.

Tom Taylor comes in as inside centre, moving Ryan Crotty to the outside and Robbie Fruean to the bench.

The last time the two sides met was in Round 10 of the competition and the Crusaders came away with a 24-10 win.

They will be looking to repeat this performance and be one step closer to securing a place in the play-offs.

The Crusaders are currently sitting sixth on the table and have three round robin matches left to play.

All three games are against New Zealand conference counterparts, kicking off with the Southern Derby in Dunedin against the Highlanders, followed by the Chiefs (July 5) and then the Hurricanes (July 12).

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

Date: Saturday, June 29
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand). Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand)
TMO: Keith Brown (New Zealand)

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Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
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Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19