Whitelock brothers to make 50th appearance

Sam Whitelock. Photo /Getty Images
Sam Whitelock. Photo /Getty Images

Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock will earn his 50th Super Rugby cap when his side host the Highlanders in Christchurch on Saturday night and one of his brothers could also achieve the same milestone in the game.

Outside back Adam has been named on the bench for the game and if he is summoned from the pine he will bring up his half century.

Sam's return to the starting XV is one of three changes from Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder to the side who lost 16-14 to the Western Force in Perth last week as flanker Matt Todd and wing Zac Guildford will also start.

All four Whitelock brothers are named in the match-day 22 for this weekend, with Luke at No 8 and George at blindside flanker, while their cousin Ben Funnell is the reserve hooker.

"The team are excited to be home again and playing at AMI Stadium. We've been travelling for three weeks and there is nothing like hearing the roar of the home crowd. We hope Crusader fans will give the boys a home-coming to remember,'' Blackadder said.

"There is nothing like a classic southern derby to bring out the best in both the Crusaders and the Highlanders. It is always a great game with an amazing atmosphere and with both teams hungry for the win there is sure to be plenty of passion on the field this Saturday.''

The Crusaders are in ninth place on the Super Rugby ladder after eight rounds, while the Highlanders are still searching for their first win after starting the season with seven straight losses.

Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Tom Marshall, Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Tyler Bleyendaal, Andy Ellis; Luke Whitelock, Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Dominic Bird, Jordan Taufua, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Adam Whitelock

- APNZ

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