McCaw starts for Crusaders

Date published: May 21 2015

The Crusaders welcome back All Blacks Richie McCaw and Luke Romano for Saturday's clash with the Waratahs in Sydney.

Coach Todd Blackadder has made five changes, four of which are in the pack, for what is a rematch of last year's Super Rugby final.

The Canterbury outfit head into the encounter on the back of a bye week, having hammered the Reds 58-17 a fortnight ago.

McCaw returns to the side at the expense of the unlucky Matt Todd, who is forced to contend with a place among the replacements. Romano slots into the second row in place of Dominic Bird who drops out the of the matchday squad completely.

In the front row, Owen Franks comes in at tighthead prop, with Ben Funnell getting a run at hooker in place of Codie Taylor who drops to the bench.

Up-and-coming scrum-half Mitchell Drummond is given the nod at nine ahead of All Black Andy Ellis after impressing thus far this season.

Israel Dagg is named in the squad for the first time since injuring his calf against the Highlanders six weeks ago, but will only feature off the bench as Blackadder looks to ease him back into action.

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

Date: Saturday, May 23
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19:40 local (21:40 NZST, 11:40 SAST, 09:40 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: James Leckie, Michael Hogan
TMO: Peter Marshall