Crusaders team to play the Blues

Jul 3 • General News, Super Rugby • 1787 Views • Comments Off on Crusaders team to play the Blues

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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 at AMI Stadium.  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 number 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 first five role and Dan Carter slots in at second five, while Ryan Crotty moves in one place to centre.  Israel Dagg has recovered from injury to take the 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.  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,” Blackadder said.

 

Kick-off is at 7:35pm at AMI Stadium (Addington) and tickets are still available from ticketdirect.co.nz.

 

Crusaders team to play the Blues:

 

1.    Wyatt Crockett RESERVES:
2.    Ben Funnell 16. Corey Flynn
3.    Owen Franks 17. Joe Moody
4.    Dominic Bird 18. Nepo Laulala
5.    Samuel Whitelock 19. Jimmy Tupou
6.    Jordan Taufua 20. Luke Whitelock
7.    Matt Todd 21. Willi Heinz
8.    Kieran Read (C) 22. Tom Taylor
9.    Andy Ellis 23. Johnny McNicholl
10.Colin Slade  
11.Nemani Nadolo  
12.Dan Carter  
13.Ryan Crotty (VC)  
14.Kieron Fonotia  
15.Israel Dagg

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