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Crusaders make four changes for Blues match

Kieran Read returns to captain the Crusaders

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Article Published: Wednesday 26 February 2014|

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has made four changes to his starting line up for this weekend's Super Rugby match against the Blues in Auckland.

The Crusaders lost their season opener 10-18 to the Chiefs and the team have been boosted this week by the return of Kieran Read and Colin Slade.

Read returns for his first start of the season to play at number 8 and captain the side.

Richie McCaw and George Whitelock are the starting openside and blindside flankers, and Matt Todd will again provide support from the bench.

Rob Thompson will be the 175th player to make his Crusaders debut when he takes the wing on Friday night.

Nafi Tuitavake will make just his second start on the other wing.

Tom Taylor, who played the second half against the Chiefs last week, starts at first five this week. Colin Slade has recovered from his bruised calf to start at fullback, with Israel Dagg ready to make an impact off the bench.

The Crusaders will fly to Auckland on Thursday ahead of Friday's match.


1 Tim Perry ,2 Corey Flynn ,3 Owen Franks,4 Samuel Whitelock,5 Dominic Bird ,6 George Whitelock,7 Richie McCaw,8 Kieran Read (c) ,9 Andy Ellis,10 Tom Taylor , 11 Nafi Tuitavake , 12 Ryan Crotty (vc) , 13 Reynold Lee-Lo , 14 Rob Thompson , 15 Colin Slade

Replacements : 16 Ben Funnell , 17 Wyatt Crockett ,18 Nepo Laulala ,19 Luke Romano , 20 Matt Todd , 21 Willi Heinz ,22 Adam Whitelock , 23 Israel Dagg

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