Blackadder brings back his big guns

Wed, 03 Jul 2013 09:08
Large wyatt crockett crusaders Large corey flynn crusaders Large ben funnell   owen franks

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has made five changes to the starting XV that will face the Chiefs in a Super Rugby crunch match in Christchurch on Friday.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has made five changes to the starting XV that will face the Chiefs in a Super Rugby crunch match in Christchurch on Friday.

The forward pack sees the return of All Blacks Wyatt Crockett, Corey Flynn and Owen Franks to the front row.

Crockett and Flynn both started on the bench week's 40-12 win over the Highlanders, while Franks returns from an elbow infection which saw him hospitalised for two days.

Luke Romano joins Sam Whitelock in the second row and Kieran Read reclaims the No.8 jersey - moving Luke Whitelock and Tom Donnelly to the bench.

The last time the two sides met was in Round 15 of the competition, when the Crusaders came away with a 19-28 loss.

While the Chiefs have won the last three times these two sides have met, they have not played in Crusader country since 2009.

The Crusaders will be looking to remind the Men from Mooloo Country what it's like to play in front of a Crusader home crowd and to secure their place in the play-offs.

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

Both games are derby matches against their New Zealand counterparts in Christchurch - the Chiefs this Friday, July 5, and the Hurricanes the following week.

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

Date: Friday, July 5
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Jonathon White (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Force 16 3 0 13 19