Four changes for Crusaders

Date published: April 23 2015

Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder has made four changes to his starting XV for Saturday's clash with the Blues in Christchurch.

In the forward pack, Codie Taylor and Ben Funnell have rotated so that Taylor starts at hooker this week, as have Owen Franks and Nepo Laulala with Franks starting at tighthead prop.

Mitchell Drummond will start at scrum-half with Andy Ellis moving to the replacements bench.

Ryan Crotty has recovered from a head knock and will start at outside centre, with Kieron Fonotia ready to provide some impact from the bench.

Blackadder said the overall 23 is largely unchanged from last week in a showing of faith from the coaches that these players can do the job.

“While we haven’t got the results we need in the last couple of weeks, we are not hitting the panic button and making wholesale changes because we know that our men will step up," he explained.

"There is an immense amount of talent in this group and the changes that need to happen to turn our losses into wins are not big changes.

"Nobody will be more determined to turn things around than these boys are."

Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 David Havili, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.

Date: Saturday, April 25
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT, 17:35 AEST, 09:35 SAST)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)