Dagg to return via Crusaders bench

Date published: May 19 2015

All Blacks full-back Israel Dagg will make his return from injury via the replacements bench when the Crusaders face the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.

That was the word from Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder who said although Dagg had fully recovered from a calf muscle injury sustained in the 25-20 loss to the Highlanders in Christchurch in Round Nine, it would be better for him to start from the bench.

"We'd be putting him at risk and our preparation at risk too, to throw him in the deep end there," he told Fairfax Media.

"Because he's been out so long, it's probably easier to put him on the bench."

Dagg needs game-time if he wants to stake a claim for an All Blacks World Cup spot, with utility back Tom Taylor having impressed in the full-back position in recent rounds.

"He's really stood up, ever since the Bulls game, [which was] a real turning point for him," added Blackadder.

"He's been playing really well, week in week out, and we want to reward that as well."