Planet Rugby

Big guns return for Crusaders

18th April 2013 06:08

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Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock taking it up

In at lock: Sam Whitelock

The Crusaders have recalled Sam Whitelock and Matt Todd to their side while Zac Guildford also starts against the ailing Highlanders on Saturday.

Those are the three changes to the XV made by Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder following their shock defeat to the Western Force.

"The team are excited to be home again and playing at AMI Stadium," he said. "We've been travelling for three weeks and there is nothing like hearing the roar of the home crowd. We hope Crusader fans will give the boys a home-coming to remember."

"There is nothing like a classic Southern Derby to bring out the best in both the Crusaders and the Highlanders. It is always a great game with an amazing atmosphere and with both teams hungry for the win there is sure to be plenty of passion on the field this Saturday."

The game will mark a special occasion for Sam Whitelock who will be playing his 50th Super Rugby game for the Crusaders. His brother Adam will also mark his 50th cap if he makes the field. All four Whitelock brothers are named in the 22 this weekend as is cousin Ben Funnell.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock (c), 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 Tom Taylor, 22 Adam Whitelock.

Date: Saturday, April 20
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand)
Television match official: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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