Crusaders named for crunch match with Bulls
Kieran Read has lost his race to be fit for the Crusaders' Super Rugby playoff eliminator with the Bulls.
The No8 was rated only 50/50 for the match on Saturday night and coach Todd Blackadder has resisted the temptation to start his All Blacks star, opting again for captain Richie McCaw at the back of the scrum and Matt Todd on the openside.
Blackadder has made two changes in the forwards and one in the backs to play the Bulls at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
Wyatt Crockett gets the start at loosehead prop with Ben Franks moving to the bench, while locks Sam Whitelock and Tom Donnelly switch positions from last week's 38-24 win over the Western Force.
Whitelock comes into the starting side and Donnelly moves to the bench.
Adam Whitelock moves back to the wing this week, vacating the outside centre position for Robbie Fruean, while Sean Maitland will provide cover from the bench.
The winner from this game will progress to the semi-finals, playing either the Chiefs or the Stormers depending on the result from the other qualifier match.
CRUSADERS: Israel Dagg, Adam Whitelock, Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Zac Guildford, Dan Carter (vc), Andy Ellis, Richie McCaw (c), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Samuel Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Ben Franks, Tom Donnelly, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Sean Maitland.