Read back for Crusaders

16th May 2013, 08:55

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Back to lead: Kieran Read

Back to lead: Kieran Read

The Crusaders are lifted by the return of Kieran Read for their clash with the Blues while Israel Dagg must again make do with a bench spot.

The Crusaders are boosted by the return of captain Kieran Read for their clash with the Blues while Israel Dagg must again make do with a bench spot.

Read, who has been sidelined with a toe injury for seven weeks, returns to the number eight jersey so young Luke Whitelock moves to the bench.

The showdown will be a special occasion for Andy Ellis as he seals his 100th Super Rugby cap.

Ellis started his Super Rugby career in 2006 and has since clocked up eight seasons with the Crusaders, 26 All Blacks test caps, two Super Rugby titles, three ITM Cup titles and a World Cup.

Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Zac Guildford, Ellis, Matt Todd and Corey Flynn will hope for strong performances after being left out by the All Blacks.

Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 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 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Adam Whitelock, 22 Israel Dagg.

Date: Saturday, May 18
Kick-off: 19:35 local (09:35 BST, 08:35 GMT)
Venue: AMI Stadium. Christchurch
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
Television match official: Keith Brown (New Zealand)