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Crusaders ring the changes for Kings

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Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder has made a number of changes to the team that beat the Blues for this weekend’s Super Rugby match against the Southern Kings in Christchurch.

Prop Wyatt Crockett and hooker Ben Funnell will start at number 1 and 2 for the first time this season, having come off the bench in the previous two games.

Playing their first game of the season will be lock Luke Romano, loose forward Matt Todd, halfback Mitchell Drummond and fullback Marty McKenzie.

David Havili will partner Kieron Fonotia in the midfield, while Johnny McNicholl and Nemani Nadolo start on the wings.

Hooker Ged Robinson may earn his first Crusaders cap if he comes off the bench on Saturday night, and Ryan Crotty is also looking for his first run of 2016 after recovering from his thumb injury to take a spot in the reserves.

The Crusaders will go on tour to South Africa after the Kings match where they will play the Sharks in Durban and then the Lions in Johannesburg.

Crusaders

1. Wyatt Crockett , 2. Ben Funnell , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Luke Romano, 5. Samuel Whitelock (C), 6. Jordan Taufua , 7. Matt Todd , 8. Jimmy Tupou , 9. Mitchell Drummond , 10. Richie Mo’unga, 11. Nemani Nadolo , 12. David Havili ,13. Kieron Fonotia , 14. Johnny McNicholl, 15. Marty McKenzie

Replacements : 16. Ged Robinson , 17. Alex Hodgman ,18. Mike Alaalatoa ,19. Tim Boys ,20. Pete Samu ,21. Leon Fukofuka ,22. Ryan Crotty , 23. Jone Macilai

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