Crusaders to face Lions without Read

03rd Apr 2014, 07:43

Share:

Ryan Crotty: Takes over the captaincy

Ryan Crotty: Takes over the captaincy

Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder has made six changes to his starting XV for Saturday's clash with the Lions in Johannesburg.

Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder has made six changes to his starting XV for Saturday's clash with the Lions in Johannesburg.

The big news is that captain and number eight Kieran Read is unavailable for selection due to a head knock he received in last weekend's loss to the Hurricanes in Christchurch.

Luke Whitelock will take his place at the base of the scrum after starting on the blindside flank last weekend.

In other changes, Dominic Bird joins Samuel Whitelock in the second row after Luke Romano was ruled out of contention with a calf injury sustained last weekend while George Whitelock comes in at number six.

Ryan Crotty will step up to the captaincy this week and also shifts from outside centre to the number 12 jersey.

Two back-line players will get their first starts of the season - Kieron Fonotia at centre and Nemani Nadolo on the wing.

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

Date: Saturday, April 5
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17.05 local (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Television match official: Johan Greeff (South Africa)