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Out-of-form Dagg dropped

02nd May 2013 06:14


israel dagg

Dumped: Israel Dagg

Crusaders full-back Israel Dagg has been dropped to the bench for Sunday's crunch match against the Brumbies in Canberra.

It seems coach Todd Blackadder has lost patience with the All Black, who has has struggled for form since returning from a hamstring injury a month ago.

"He will be playing a part in the game but he won't be in the starting fifteen," Blackadder told the New Zealand media.

"It's just through poor form, he hasn't been playing that well so we've decided to take him out of the starting fifteen.

"It just comes down to form. Israel's had every opportunity to get out there and play well, he's not the only one that hasn't played to his full potential so far, but he's been really inconsistent.

"He even admitted it himself that he's not on top of his game so we've decided just to take him out of the hot seat and sit him on the bench, and he'll get another opportunity and he'll get his opportunities to play his way back into this team. But right here and now...opportunity gone."

In all, Blackadder has made five changes to the starting line-up that edged the Rebels last weekend.

Tom Taylor, who kicked 20 points against the Rebels, replaces Dagg at full-back which sees Ryan Crotty shift back to inside centre. He will be joined in the Crusaders midfield by Robbie Fruean, who returns to the starting XV.

There's also a new half-back combination with Dan Carter and Andy Ellis replacing Tyler Bleyendaal and Willi Heinz respectively. Carter was eased into action off the bench against the Rebels following a month on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

And there's only one change in the forwards with Wyatt Crockett returning to loosehead prop, moving Joe Moody to the bench.

Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam 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 Adam Whitelock, 22 Israel Dagg.

Date: Sunday, May 5
Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 16:05 (06:05 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
Television match official: Matt Goddard (Australia)

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