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
Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
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Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
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Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
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Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4