MacDonald ruled out by Crusaders


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Leon MacDonald will miss the Good Friday night Rebel Sport Super 14 clash between the Crusaders and the NSW Waratahs at AMI Stadium.

The All Black fullback was withdrawn from the side, which was originally named before training this morning, during the session.
“There’s no specific injury issue with Leon,” Crusaders coach Robbie Deans says on the Crusaders website.

“It’s just a case of him not having recovered fully from the reasonably heavy work load that he has had over the last few weeks. That being the case, it is prudent for us to allow him to rest up properly.”

Scott Hamilton will move to fullback in MacDonald’s place. He sustained a nose injury during the warm ups prior to last week’s 55-7 win over the Cheetahs, but subsequently performed strongly in the game.

Deans said today’s decision was not related to that injury at all.

Caleb Ralph comes onto the wing, resuming his quest for the two tries that he needs to tie Doug Howlett’s all-time Super rugby record of 59.

Hamish Gard is promoted onto the run on reserves bench in the place of Ralph.

Deans says that while the dis-ruption was unfortunate, such eventualities are always planned for. “You have to anticipate having such disruptions at various times during a campaign,” he says.

“Because of that, you make sure in advance that everyone is well versed in all of the roles they may play throughout the team, so that you can make the changes when they are needed, and just keep going!”

Crusaders team to play the NSW Waratahs:

15. Scott Hamilton , 14. Kade Poki , 13. Casey Laulala ,12. Tim Bateman ,11. Caleb Ralph ,10. Daniel Carter ,9. Andrew Ellis
8. Mose Tuiali’i , 7. Richard McCaw (Canterbury, captain), 6. Kieran Read ,5. Ali Williams ,4. Brad Thorn ,3. Greg Somerville
2. Corey Flynn , 1. Ben Franks

Reserves:16. Ti’i Paulo , 17. Wyatt Crockett , 18. Michael Paterson , 19. Nasi Manu , 20. Kahn Fotuali’i , 21. Hamish Gard , 22. Sean Maitland

Coaches: Robbie Deans, Mark Hammett
Manager: Tony Thorpe.

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