McCaw sits out in four changes

Date published: March 19 2015

Todd Blackadder has named his side to take on the Cheetahs this Saturday. It includes four changes to the starting line-up that beat the Lions last weekend.

In the forwards, hookers Codie Taylor and Ben Funnell will rotate so that Taylor starts at two, and Matt Todd returns to the team to play at seven this week, with Richie McCaw getting a complete rest after being left out of the matchday 23.

In the back line, Israel Dagg returns from injury to take the full-back spot, while Kieron Fonotia moves onto the wing following Johnny McNicholl’s knee (posterior cruciate ligament) injury last week.

Blackadder revealed to Stuff that moving Dagg out onto the wing for the weekend's game had been considered.

"That's something we may look to do (in the future) and we had a really good discussion about that earlier in the week.

"We just thought for Izzy coming back and the mindset … He prefers number 15 and we know that and to get him in the mix would be a lot easier (starting him at full-back)."

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Kieron Fonotia, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 David Havili

Date: Saturday, March 21
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19:35 local (06:35 GMT; 08:35 SAST; 17:35 AEDT)
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)