Planet Rugby

Crusaders change three for Chiefs clash

17th April 2014 04:55

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Tom Taylor Crusaders 2014

Versatile: Tom Taylor starts at 13

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has made three changes to his starting XV to play the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

In the forwards, Owen Franks and Nepo Laulala have switched places again so that Franks starts at tighhead prop this week and Laulala takes a place on the bench.

Jordan Taufua will make his first start this season, having been promoted from the reserves to the blindside flank as George Whitelock is dropped. Luke Whitelock will provide cover from the bench.

Tom Taylor also moves into the starting XV playing at outside centre after Kieron Fonotia was ruled out by a hamstring injury in the only change in the backline.

Willi Heinz will start at scrum-half for a second successive game after he pushed former All Black Andy Ellis to the bench for last weekend's 52-31 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Luke Romano (calf) and Richie McCaw (thumb) are still unavailable for selection due to injury.

The All Blacks duo are targetting a return in two weeks against the Brumbies.

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

Date: Saturday, April 19
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 local
Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)

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