Rugby: Blackadder makes seven changes

Israel Dagg in action against the Chiefs. Photo / Getty Images
Israel Dagg in action against the Chiefs. Photo / Getty Images

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has made seven changes to his side's starting line-up for Saturday's clash with the Stormers in Christchurch, with All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg being named on the wing.

Wyatt Crockett will start at number one for the winless Crusaders and Tim Perry moves to the bench. Luke Romano takes one of the starting lock positions alongside Sam Whitelock. Luke Whitelock takes the number 6 jersey from his eldest brother George, who is recovering from an adductor strain.

With Richie McCaw having just had surgery on a broken thumb, Matt Todd steps into the number 7 starting spot and Jordan Taufua will take a place on the bench.

In the backs, Willi Heinz will start at halfback this week and Andy Ellis will be ready to provide cover from the bench. Dagg starts on one wing this week and Johnny McNicholl on the other.

Nafi Tuitavake is recovering from a hamstring strain, which gives Tasman centre Kieron Fonotia the chance to make his Crusaders debut if he comes off the bench.

The Crusaders are seeking their first win of the season after defeats to the Chiefs and Blues in the past two weeks.

The Crusaders beat the Stormers 19-14 in Cape Town last season.

Crusaders team to play the Stormers:
1. Wyatt Crockett, 2. Corey Flynn, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Luke Romano, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. Luke Whitelock, 7. Matt Todd, 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Willi Heinz, 10. Tom Taylor, 11. Israel Dagg, 12. Ryan Crotty (vc), 13. Reynold Lee-Lo, 14. Johnny McNicholl, 15. Colin Slade

16. Ben Funnell, 17. Tim Perry, 18. Nepo Laulala, 19. Dominic Bird, 20. Jordan Taufua, 21. Andy Ellis, 22. Tyler Bleyendaal, 23. Kieron Fonotia

- NZ Herald

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