Rugby: Read returns for Blues clash

Crusaders and All Black number eight Kieran Read will return from injury to face the Blues in a crucial Super 15 encounter in Christchurch on Saturday.

Read's inclusion in the starting XV after a seven week break due to torn ligaments in a toe is the only change to the Crusaders side that beat the Brumbies two weeks ago.

The return of the Crusaders' skipper means Luke Whitelock moves to the bench.

All Black fullback Israel Dagg remains in the reserves as does Dominic Bird who was named in the 38-man All Black training squad earlier in the week. Tom Taylor, who was also named in an All Black training squad for the first time will start in the 15 jersey.

The game will be a special occasion for Andy Ellis as he mark's his 100th Super Rugby cap. Ellis started his Super Rugby career in 2006 and has since clocked up eight8 seasons with the Crusaders, 26 All Blacks test caps, two Super Rugby titles, three ITM Cup titles and a World Cup.

The Blues won the round three fixture between the two sides 34-15 at Eden Park.

Crusaders side
1. Wyatt Crockett, 2. Corey Flynn, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Luke Romano, 5. Sam Whitelock, 6. George Whitelock , 7. Matt Todd, 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Andy Ellis, 10. Dan Carter, 11. Zac Guildford, 12. Ryan Crotty , 13. Robbie Fruean, 14. Tom Marshall, 15. Tom Taylor. Reserves: 16. Ben Funnell, 17. Joe Moody, 18. Dominic Bird, 19. Luke Whitelock, 20. Willi Heinz, 21. Adam Whitelock, 22. Israel Dagg


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