Planet Rugby



Ellis starts for Crusaders

03rd April 2013 17:47


Andy Ellis Crusaders 2012

Back at scrum-half: Andy Ellis

The Crusaders have made two personnel changes to their starting XV for Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Sharks in Durban.

Andy Ellis returns to scrum-half ahead of Willi Heinz, who is on the bench.

Zac Guildford moves back to the left wing while Telusa Veainu - who was rushed to South Africa after Johnny McNicholl fractured his fibula in last weekend's win over the Stormers - could make his debut off the bench.

Adam Whitelock takes Guilford's place on the right wing.

Owen Franks will have to pass a fitness test and will take his place at tighthead prop having suffered rib cartilage damage against the Stormers.

Israel Dagg, who pulled out of the Stormers clash at the last minute with a hamstring injury, has been named on the bench, leaving Tom Marshall to continue at full-back.

"There are certain parts of our game where, against the Sharks, we will need to lift our performance," Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder told Fairfax NZ News.

"Against the Stormers, with their gritty defence, they were always going to be a team that was very hard to wear down. They are a set-piece team - if you make mistakes they will punish you.

"But I think against the Sharks we can open up a bit more. We are going to have to play a higher, faster tempo. There is a lot left in this team and we are not out of gas by any means."

Crusaders 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Andy Ellis, 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 Willi Heinz, 21 Telusa Veainu, 22 Israel Dagg.

Date: Friday, April 5
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT; 06.00, Saturday, April 6 NZ time)
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

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