27 May 2015

Crusaders missing 7 All Blacks

7:16 pm on 27 May 2015

The Crusaders will be missing seven All Blacks in Friday's must win Super Rugby game against the Hurricanes in Nelson.

The Crusaders' All Blacks Kieran Read and Colin Slade.

The Crusaders' All Blacks Kieran Read and Colin Slade. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Concussion has ruled out three players who suffered head knocks in the game against the Waratahs.

They are lock Sam Whitelock, number eight Kieran Read and midfielder Ryan Crotty.

The Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder says Colin Slade (thigh), Israel Dagg (calf) and Joe Moody (foot) are also out with injuries, while Wyatt Crockett is being rested.

In total, Blackadder has made seven changes to the starting line-up that faced the Waratahs last weekend and four further changes in the reserves.

Prop Alex Hodgman will make his first start of the season and providing prop cover on the bench is Tim Perry, who is set to play his first game since rupturing his achilles at the end of 2014.

Jimmy Tupou will 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 at 8 and Luke Whitelock on the bench.

Robbie Fruean is making his return from injury at centre and David Havili will start at 2nd five.

Dan Carter starts at 1st five on Friday night, Tom Taylor at fullback and Kieron Fonotia joins the reserves.

Crusaders team to play the Hurricanes:

1 Alex Hodgman

2 Ben Funnell

3 Owen Franks

4 Luke Romano

5 Jimmy Tupou

6 Matt Todd

7 Richie McCaw (c)

8 Jordan Taufua

9 Mitchell Drummond

10 Dan Carter

11 Nemani Nadolo

12 David Havili

13 Robbie Fruean

14 Nafi Tuitavake

15 Tom Taylor


16 Codie Taylor

17 Tim Perry

18 Nepo Laulala

19 Dominic Bird

20 Luke Whitelock

21 Andy Ellis

22 Kieron Fonotia

23 Jone Macilai