Whitelock takes over Crusaders' reins

Date published: March 28 2013

Crusaders flanker George Whitelock will lead the seven-times champions in Saturday's clash with the Stormers in Cape Town.

Crusaders flanker George Whitelock will captain the seven-times champions in Saturday's clash with the Stormers in Cape Town.

Whitelock takes over the reins from Kieran Read, who is ruled out with an injured big toe. Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder has picked a relatively young side and made four changes to his starting line-up that beat the Kings in Christchurch last week.

In the only change up front, Read has been replaced by Luke Whitelock at number eight. Amongs the backs, Israel Dagg returns to full-back, which means Tom Marshall moves back to the wing and Zac Guildford to the bench.

Tyler Bleyendaal starts at fly-half in place of Dan Carter, who has remained in New Zealand to be at the birth of his first child.

Jordan Taufua joined the squad in South Africa earlier in the week as cover for Read and will gain his first Super Rugby cap if he is required from off the bench.

The match will be a special occasion for inside centre and vice-captain Ryan Crotty who will make his 50th Super Rugby appearance for the Crusaders.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock (captain), 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Dominic Bird, 19 Jordan Taufua, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Adam Whitelock, 22 Zac Guildford.

Date: Saturday, March 30
Kick-off: 19.10 local (17.10 GMT)
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Linston Manuel (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)