Super Rugby

Whitelock captains Crusaders against Rebels

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Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder has named Sam Whitelock to captain this week’s Super Rugby team against the Rebels in Christchurch on Saturday.

The match will be a special occasion for Whitelock as not only will he captain the side he will also be winning his 100th cap in front of a home crowd.

Saturday’s match will be the Crusaders first at home for seven weeks after the June break and a number of away matches.

Along with Whitelock taking the captaincy Blackadder has made four changes to the starting team that fell to the Chiefs in Fiji last week.

In the forwards, Alex Hodgman moves into the number 1 jersey, while Wyatt Crockett takes a spot on the bench. Jimmy Tupou will start at number 8 this week, with Kieran Read sitting this match out.

Luke Romano will provide lock cover for Whitelock and Scott Barrett, while Pete Samu joins the bench as loose forward support.

In the backs, Ryan Crotty returns to the team at centre, and Johnny McNicholl will take the right wing.

Kieron Fonotia will prepare to make an impact off the bench this week and Mitchell Hunt will join the reserves for the second week in a row, giving him the opportunity to earn his first Crusaders cap if he makes the field.

Crusaders

1. Alex Hodgman,2. Codie Taylor, 3. Owen Franks 4. Scott Barrett 5. Sam Whitelock (C) 6. Jordan Taufua 7. Matt Todd 8. Jimmy Tupou 9. Andy Ellis 10. Richie Mo’unga 11. Nemani Nadolo 12. David Havili 13. Ryan Crotty 14. Johnny McNicholl 15. Israel Dagg

Replacements :16. Ben Funnell ,17. Wyatt Crockett,18. Mike Alaalatoa,19. Luke Romano,20. Pete Samu,21. Mitchell Drummond, 22. Mitch Hunt,23. Kieron Fonotia

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