26 Feb 2014

All Black fullback dropped from Crusaders

6:21 pm on 26 February 2014

The All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg has been dropped by the Crusaders for their Super rugby match against the Blues in Auckland on Friday night.

Dagg started in last week's 18-10 loss to the Chiefs but has been dropped to reserves and replaced by Colin Slade at fullback.

It'll be Slade's first appearance for the Crusaders since 2010, having played for the Highlanders for the past three seasons.

The All Blacks number eight Kieran Read will make his first start of the season and captain the side while All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw is named at openside flanker having passed a fitness test on an injured calf.

The Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has also replaced Tyler Bleyendaal with Tom Taylor at first five-eighth, after Bleyendaal missed all five penalty kicks at goal against the Chiefs.

All Black winger Zac Guildford is again unable to make the reserves.

Crusaders: Colin Slade, Rob Thompson, Reynold Lee-Lo, Ryan Crotty, Nafi Tuitavake, Tom Taylor, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (captain), Richie McCaw, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Dominic Bird, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Tim Perry. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett, Nepo Laulala, Luke Romano, Matt Todd, Willi Heinz, Adam Whitelock, Israel Dagg