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Crusaders name Slade at fly-half

12th March 2014 05:54

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Colin Slade congratulated after scoring for Crusaders

Directing traffic: Colin Slade

Colin Slade will start at fly-half for the Crusaders in Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Rebels in Melbourne.

Head Coach Todd Blackadder has selected 19 of the 23 players who beat the Stormers last weekend, but many of them will be wearing a different number on their backs.

With Slade moving from 15 to 10, Tom Taylor shifts out to inside centre and Ryan Crotty goes to 13. Israel Dagg will start at full-back.

Andy Ellis takes the starting scrum-half spot again and, with Willi Heinz recovering from a calf injury, Mitchell Drummond has an opportunity to make his Crusaders debut if he comes off the bench.

Nafi Tuitavake is the only player in the starting XV who was not involved last week. He has recovered from a hamstring strain to take the right wing and Johnny McNicholl will take the left wing.

There is just one change to the forwards with Ben Funnell starting at hooker this week instead of Corey Flynn, who is unavailable after suffering a fractured eye socket in last weekend's match.

Codie Taylor enters the playing 23 for the first time this season to provide cover off the bench. Also up for a potential debut off the bench this week is winger Nemani Nadolo.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Nafi Tuitavake, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Nemani Nadolo.

Date: Friday, March 14
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19.40 local (08.40 GMT)
Referee: James Leckie (Australia)

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