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McCaw one of five Crusaders changes for Rebels

Richie McCaw will get his first start of the season and takes over the captaincy

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Article Published: Tuesday 8 May 2012|

The Crusaders have made five changes for their first Super Rugby match in Melbourne with Richie McCaw making his first start of the season as captain.

The Crusaders narrowly beat the Reds last week and will travel to Melbourne on Thursday for Saturday's Super Rugby clash.

In the tight five there is one change with Wyatt Crockett making a start at number 1 and Ben Franks waiting on the bench.

The players in jerseys 7 through 9 are all making their first starts of the season - McCaw at openside flanker, Luke Whitelock at number 8 and Willi Heinz at halfback.

Kieran Read will provide loose-forward cover from the reserves and Andy Ellis will be ready to step in at halfback if needed.

Tom Marshall enters the starting fifteen at fullback, meaning Israel Dagg will be on the bench as cover for the outside backs.

Lock Tom Donnelly was a late withdrawal from the team against the Reds last weekend after hurting his back, so his position in the reserves is subject to his full participation in training today.

Winger Sean Maitland will celebrate a milestone this weekend, playing his 50th Super Rugby game.


1. Wyatt Crockett 2. Corey Flynn 3. Owen Franks 4. Luke Romano 5. Samuel Whitelock 6. George Whitelock 7. Richie McCaw (C) 8. Luke Whitelock 9. Willi Heinz 10. Tom Taylor 11. Zac Guildford 12. Dan Carter (VC) 13. Robbie Fruean 14. Sean Maitland 15. Tom Marshall

Replacements : 16. Ben Funnell 17. Ben Franks 18. Tom Donnelly (Ross Kennedy) 19. Kieran Read 20. Andy Ellis 21. Ryan Crotty 22. Israel Dagg

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