Read leads Crusade in Bloemfontein
The Crusaders received a timely boost with confirmation that Kieran Read will captain the side against the Cheetahs.
The Crusaders received a timely boost with confirmation that captain Kieran Read will make his return from injury for the encounter with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
The All Blacks No.8 has recovered from a head knock two weeks ago to take his place.
He replaces Luke Whitelock, who has returned to New Zealand because of a knee injury.
Read's inclusion is one of four changes to the starting XV from the 28-7 win over the Lions in Johannesburg last weekend, the others being rotations with the bench.
Hooker Corey Flynn replaces Ben Funnell, Nepo Laulala takes over at tighthead prop from Owen Franks, while scrumhalf Willi Heinz will wear the No.9 jersey instead of Andy Ellis.
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Tyler Bleyendaal, 23 Tom Taylor.
Date: Saturday, April 12
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT; 03.00, Sunday, April 13)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Francois de Bruin Francois (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)