Crusaders bring in the big boys

Thu, 03 Jul 2014 08:37
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Kieran Read, Dan Carter, Israel Dagg and Nemani Nadolo all return to the starting line-up for the Crusaders this weekend when they take on the Blues. 

Kieran Read, Dan Carter, Israel Dagg and Nemani Nadolo all return to the starting line-up for the Crusaders this weekend when they take on the Blues. 
 
They are four of six new faces in the starting fifteen.
 
In the forwards, Ben Funnell and Owen Franks have taken starting spots in place of Corey Flynn and Nepo Laulala, who will be ready to inject some energy off the bench.
 
Kieran Read’s return to No.8 means Luke Whitelock takes another of the reserve spots.
 
Read will also captain the team.
 
Nemani Nadolo has returned from international duties in Fiji to take the left wing and Kieron Fonotia will start on the right wing. 
 
Colin Slade retains the flyhalf role and Dan Carter slots in at inside centre, while Ryan Crotty moves out one place to outside centre.
 
Israel Dagg has recovered from injury to take the No.15 jersey.
 
Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder says the team is fully aware of just how crucial this game is for their playoff hopes.
 
“Training this week has felt like the lead up to a final," he said ahead of the important clash.
 
"There was a huge amount of disappointment and frustration following last week’s loss, but we’ve had to push that aside and put our full focus on this next opportunity.  
 
"We know that the Blues are desperate for the win, but there is absolutely no lack of determination and desire amongst this squad so we can expect to see fireworks on Saturday night.
 
“We have the advantage of playing at home and we can’t wait to hear the roar of a Crusaders crowd at AMI Stadium again. 
 
"That home crowd may just be the extra lift that makes the difference in what is going to be an epic battle."
 
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Kieron Fonotia, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 Johnny McNicholl.
 
Date: Saturday, July 5
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35; (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Mike Lash (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
Worcester Warriors v Bristol 15h00 Sixways
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 15h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Welford Road
Stormers v Jaguares 15h15 Cape Town
Cardiff Blues v Munster 17h15 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cheetahs v Bulls 17h30 Bloemfontein
Leinster v Scarlets 19h35 RDS Arena
Sun, 05 March 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Saracens 15h00 Kingston Park
Mon, 06 March 2017
UP-Tuks v CUT-Ixias 14h45 Pretoria
UKZN-Impi v UWC 16h30 Durban
WSU v CPUT 16h30 Mthatha
Fort Hare v TUT 16h30 Davidson Stadium
NMMU-Madibaz v UJ 16h30 Port Elizabeth
NWU-Pukke v Wits 16h30 Potchefstroom
Shimlas v Maties 17h00 Bloemfontein
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Blues 1 1 0 0 5
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