8 Jun 2011

Crusaders welcome back Whitelock and Ellis

1:39 pm on 8 June 2011

The Crusaders have made four changes to their starting line-up to play the Blues in Timaru on Saturday night for a match, which could decide the New Zealand Super rugby conference winner.

Lock Sam Whitelock has recovered from the anke injury he suffered in March while halfback Andy Ellis is back from a broken thumb.

In other changes, Ben Franks starts at loosehead prop ahead of Wyatt Crockett and Matt Todd replaces captain Richie McCaw, who's out with recurring foot problems following recent surgery.

Number eight Kieran Read will captain the side in McCaw's absence.

The Blues currently lead the New Zealand conference by just two points from the Crusaders but have lost their last three games.