Crusaders make seven changes

Date published: March 6 2014

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has made seven changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's clash against the Stormers.

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has made seven changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's Super Rugby clash against the Stormers in Christchurch.

All Blacks full-back Israel Dagg has been named on the wing with Colin Slade holding onto the number 15 jersey. Blackadder said Slade performance in last week's loss to the Blues warranted re-selection at full-back while Dagg has said he isn't concerned and just wants to play.

Wyatt Crockett will start at number one this week as Tim Perry moves to the bench while Luke Romano replaces fellow All Blacks lock Dominic Bird.

Luke Whitelock takes the number 6 jersey from his eldest brother George, who is recovering from an adductor strain. And with Richie McCaw having just had surgery on a broken thumb, Matt Todd steps into the number 7 starting spot and Jordan Taufua will take a place on the bench.

In the backs, Willi Heinz will start at scrum-half this week and Andy Ellis will be ready to provide cover from the bench. Johnny McNicholl has been added to the right wing with Rob Thompson dropping out of the matchday 23.

Nafi Tuitavake is recovering from a hamstring strain, which gives Tasman Centre Kieron Fonotia the chance to make his Crusaders debut if he comes off the bench.

Crusaders: 15 Colin Slade, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Reynold Lee-Lo, 12 Ryan Crotty (vc), 11 Israel Dagg, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Tyler Bleyendaal, 23 Kieron Fonotia

Date: Saturday, March 8
Kick-off: 19:35 local (06:35 GMT)
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Ben O'Keefe (New Zealand)
Television match official: Chris Watt (New Zealand)