Super 14 Rugby

Stage set for Super 14 final – teams named


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The Crusaders and Waratahs have each made one forced change to their starting line-ups for the Super 14 final on Saturday to claim southern hemisphere rugby supremacy.

The Crusaders have brought in Ti’i Paulo in place of senior rake Corey Flynn who broke his arm early in last weekend’s semi-final when they beat the Hurricanes 33-22.

The Waratahs are in a healthier position, being able to bring back their first choice hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau who missed their 28-13 semi-final win over the Sharks because of a hand injury.

The two teams have met in one final previously when the Crusaders won 35-25 in 2005.

Seven players remain from that champion Crusaders side — Leon MacDonald, Casey Laulala, Daniel Carter, Mose Tuiali’i, Richie McCaw, Reuben Thorne and Greg Somerville.

Former All Blacks captain Thorne, who will start from the bench on Saturday, will be playing his last first-class game in New Zealand before heading to Japan.

Caleb Ralph, another former All Black who is heading for Japan, could not make the bench for the final and ends his Super 14 career with 135 games, one short of the record set by the ACT Brumbies’ George Gregan.

Ralph also scored 58 tries, one short of the competition record set by Doug Howlett of the Auckland Blues.

In the Waratahs side, Europe-bound former Wallabies backrower David Lyons has also been denied a farewell appearance in the final after failing a fitness test.



Crusaders: Leon MacDonald, Kade Poki, Casey Laulala, Tim Bateman, Scott Hamilton, Daniel Carter, Andy Ellis, Mose Tuiali’i, Richie McCaw (captain), Kieran Read, Ali Williams, Brad Thorn, Greg Somerville, Ti’i Paulo, Wyatt Crockett.

Reserves: Steve Fualau, Ben Franks, Reuben Thorne, Nasi Manu, Kahn Fotuali’i, Stephen Brett, Sean Maitland.

Waratahs: Sam Norton-Knight, Lachie Turner, Rob Horne, Tom Carter, Lote Tuqiri, Kurtley Beale, Luke Burgess, Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh (captain), Rocky Elsom, Dan Vickerman, Dean Mumm, Al Baxter, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson.

Reserves: Adam Freier, Matt Dunning, Will Caldwell, Beau Robinson, Brett Sheehan, Matt Carraro, Timana Tahu.

Sapa-AFP –

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