Read to lead Crusaders against Sharks

Date published: March 24 2016

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 04:  Kieran Read of the Crusaders looks on during the round two Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Blues at AMI Stadium on March 4, 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand.  (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

All Blacks number eight Kieran Read returns to skipper the Crusaders in Saturday’s clash with the Sharks in Durban.

Read replaces Sam Whitelock as skipper after Whitelock captained the seven-time champions in their previous matches against the Chiefs, Blues and Kings.

Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder has made seven changes, including a positional switch, to his run-on side that beat the Kings 57-24 in Christchurch last weekend.

In the back-line, David Havili moves from inside centre to full-back, where he replaces Ben Volavola, while Ryan Crotty comes in to the side to wear the number 12 jersey.

The only other change amongst the backs sees Andy Ellis taking over from Mitchell Drummond at scrum-half.

In the forwards, Read replaces Jimmy Tupou at the base of the scrum while Scott Barrett comes in for Luke Romano in the second row.

The final changes are in the front row where Cody Taylor and Joe Moody are preferred to Ben Funnell and Wyatt Crockett at hooker and loosehead prop respectively.

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jimmy Tupou, 21 Tim Boys, 22 Mitchell Drummond, 23 Ben Volavola

Date: Saturday, March 26
Venue: Kings Park Stadium, Durban
Kick-off: 17:05 local (15:05 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Jaco van Heerden, Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Johan Greeff

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