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, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Suva
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 12 3 1 8 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9