Slade back for Crusaders

Date published: October 30 2013

The Crusaders have announced their squad for Super Rugby 2014, with Colin Slade, Rey Lee-Lo and Nemani Nadolo all included.

The Crusaders have announced their squad for the 2014 Super Rugby season, with Colin Slade, Rey Lee-Lo and Nemani Nadolo all included in the group.

The squad includes five new members and 27 players returning from the 2013 Crusaders squad.

One of the five new faces in the squad is Slade, who played for the Crusaders in 2009 and 2010 mainly on the wing and at full-back, but shifted to the Highlanders in 2011 in order to gain more playing time at fly-half.

“The experience and talent that Colin Slade adds to this group is immense,” head coach Todd Blackadder told the Crusaders website.

“He'll be a crucial member of the team, especially at first five while Dan Carter is on extended leave, but he has the advantage of being able to play virtually anywhere in the back line.”

Also returning to his roots in joining the Crusaders squad is prop Tim Perry, who has represented New Zealand at Secondary School, U19 and Heartland levels.

“Tim Perry has been particularly impressive for Tasman over the past couple of seasons,” added Blackadder.

“He is a tough, brawny player and it is great to have him back at home with the Crusaders.

Adding some firepower to the midfield is Lee-Lo, who made his debut Super Rugby season with the Hurricanes last year after being part of the Chiefs development squad in 2011.

“Rey will really help to bolster our midfield stock,” said the coach.

“He is a strong player, has a good rugby brain, and puts in the hard yards. I think he will fit in really well in the Crusaders environment.”

Meanwhile, huge Fijian winger, Nadolo, will make an impact on their back line in 2014 and Blackadder said he is set to be one of the most exciting players in the Super Rugby competition.

“At 1.95m and nearly 130kg, he is an absolute hulk of a man, yet he can fly down the field like you wouldn't believe for a man that size. Comparisons have been drawn with Jonah Lomu, and we can't wait to work with him and unleash him in this competition,” Blackadder said.

Crusaders: Dominic Bird, Tyler Bleyendaal, Daniel Carter, Wyatt Crockett, Ryan Crotty, Israel Dagg, Mitchell Drummond, Andy Ellis, Corey Flynn, Owen Franks, Ben Funnell, Zac Guildford, Willi Heinz, Nepo Laulala, Rey Lee-Lo, Richie McCaw, Johnny McNicholl, Joe Moody, Nemani Nadolo, Tim Perry, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Colin Slade, Jordan Taufua, Codie Taylor, Tom Taylor, Matt Todd, Jimmy Tupou, Adam Whitelock, George Whitelock, Luke Whitelock, Sam Whitelock.

Wider training squad: Jed Brown, Kieron Fonotia, Mike Kainga, Rob Thompson, Nafi Tuitavake.