Crusaders call up their All Blacks
Crusaders call up their All BlacksSHARE
The Crusaders have called up all their big guns, including captain Kieran Read, for their third and final pre-season game, against the Waratahs in Sydney on Thursday.
Read, Dan Carter, Israel Dagg, Robbie Fruean and Sam Whitelock are amongst 11 All Blacks named in the Crusaders 28-man squad.
Corey Flynn and Tom Donnelly also make their first appearance in the pre-season game taking their place on the bench.
The announcement of an all-star line up adds to the excitement ahead of this curtain raiser clash, with both sides looking to fine tune their Super Rugby preparations.
The home side is set to include a host of returning Wallabies when its announced on Wednesday, setting the stage for a cracking trans-Tasman rivalry.
The Crusaders will be looking for an improved performance this week against their Australian counterparts as well as taking the opportunity to establish combinations ahead of their first competition match against the Blues in Auckland on March 1.
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements – from: Codie Taylor, Joe Moody, Dominic Bird, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Tom Marshall, Telusa Veianu, Shane Christie, Tom Donnelly, Corey Flynn.
Date: Thursday, February 14
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.30 (08.30 GMT; 21.30 NZ time)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Ian Smith (Australia), Michael Hogan (Australia)