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Crusaders

Whitelock back, McCaw still out

10th July 2014 05:20

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Kieran Read C runs with Sam Whitelock L during a Crusaders Super Rugby training session

Key duo: Kieran Read and Sam Whitelock

Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder has made just one change to his team to face the Highlanders in Christchurch on Saturday.

Lock Sam Whitelock, who was a late withdrawal from last week's team, has returned to the starting line-up, which means Jimmy Tupou is on the bench.

Dan Carter has again been named at inside centre as the rest of the line-up is the same as that which beat the Blues 21-13 last weekend.

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw will miss the Crusaders' crucial final round Super Rugby clash. The flanker has been given another week to recover from a rib injury suffered in last month's Test series against England.

While the Crusaders are already guaranteed a play-off spot, they are also working towards a second-place qualification that would see them proceed directly to a home semi-final.

"That will require us to beat the Highlanders and beat them well," saidBlackadder.

"The Highlanders are also a gutsy side though and we know that they will be putting everything they've got into this encounter. We are going to have to put in the performance of the season to come out on top, and that is exactly what the team has committed to doing."

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Kieron Fonotia, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 Johnny McNicholl.

Date: Saturday, July
Venue: AMI Stadium (Addington, Christchurch)
Kick-off: 19.35 local (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert

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