Carter back at 10 for Crusaders

Date published: May 27 2015

All Black playmaker Dan Carter will start at fly-half for the Crusaders in Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes at Trafalgar Park in Nelson.

Carter will make just his third start of the season in the number 10 shirt as the Crusaders look to save their season against the tournament pace-setters.

Head coach Todd Blackadder has made seven changes to the starting line-up that faced the Waratahs last weekend and four further changes in the reserves.

A quadricep strain to Colin Slade, one of six injured All Blacks lost to the Crusaders this week, means the twice World Player of the Year moves from 12 back into the chief playmaker role.

Prop Alex Hodgman will make his first start of the season with Joe Moody out with a foot injury. Providing prop cover on the bench are Nepo Laulala and Tim Perry, who is set to play his first game since rupturing his Achilles at the end of 2014.

Lock Sam Whitelock, number eight Kieran Read and centre Ryan Crotty have all been ruled out by head knocks suffered in Sydney.

That sees Jimmy Tupou start at lock alongside Luke Romano, while Dominic Bird takes a spot on the bench. Richie McCaw steps into captaincy duties and the number 7 jersey, with Matt Todd playing at 6, Jordan Taufua moving to number eight and Luke Whitelock on the bench.

Robbie Fruean makes his return from injury at outside centre and David Havili will start at 12.

Full-back Israel Dagg injured his calf in the warm-up for the Waratahs match so Tom Taylor starts while Kieron Fonotia joins the reserves.

Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Nafi Tuitavake, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Matt Todd, 5 Jimmy Tupou, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Jone Macilai.

Date: Friday, May 29
Venue: Trafalgar Park, Nelson
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT, 17:35 AEST, 09:35 SAST)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe
Assistant Referees: Kane McBride, Richard Kelly
TMO: Chris Wratt