6 Mar 2014

Blackadder changes half Crusaders starting lineup

2:09 pm on 6 March 2014

Two straight losses has taken its toll with coach Todd Blackadder changing almost half his starting lineup from last week's loss to the Blues, for Saturday night's match against the South African side the Stormers in Christchurch.

All up Blackadder has made seven changes to the starting fifteen, three forced through injury.

The All Black fullback Israel Dagg is back but starts on the wing in place of Nafi Tuitavake who has a hamstring strain.

The All Black lock Luke Romano takes one of the starting lock positions alongside Sam Whitelock while Luke Whitelock comes in at blindside flanker in place of brother George, who has a groin strain.

With All Black skipper Richie McCaw having had surgery on a broken thumb, Matt Todd will replace him at openside flanker.

Andy Ellis drops to the reserves with Willi Heinz coming in a halfback.

The full team: Kieran Read (capt), Wyatt Crockett, Corey Flynn, Owen Franks, Luke Romano, Samuel Whitelock, Luke Whitelock, Matt Todd, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Israel Dagg, Ryan Crotty, Reynold Lee-Lo, Johnny McNicholl, Colin Slade

Reserves: Ben Funnell, Tim Perry, Nepo Laulala, Dominic Bird, Jordan Taufua, Andy Ellis, Tyler Bleyendaal, Kieron Fonotia