No 8 Kieran Read returns for the Crusaders

Last updated 18:16 10/04/2014
Kieran Read
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OUT OF IT: Kieran Read looks on from the sidelines as the Crusaders lose to the Hurricanes in Christchurch.

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Captain Kieran Read has been declared fit to lead the Crusaders against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Sunday morning.

The All Blacks No 8, who missed last weekend's 28-7 win over the Lions because of concussion, has trained well with the squad in South Africa this week and takes his place in the starting lineup.

Luke Whitelock, who started at the back of the scrum in the absence of Read last weekend, has been sent home because of a knee injury however. Wider training group loose forward Jed Brown has replaced him in the squad but will be suited-up for the Cheetahs clash.

Coach Todd Blackadder has rotated several members of his front row with Corey Flynn starting at hooker, in place of Ben Funnell, and Nepo Laulala coming in ahead of Owen Franks.

Willi Heinz has been awarded the No 9 jersey ahead of Andy Ellis who was one of the Crusaders' best players in the victory over the Lions in Johannesburg.

CRUSADERS: Israel Dagg, Johnny McNicholl, Kieron Fonotia, Ryan Crotty, Nemani Nadolo, Colin Slade, Willi Heinz, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Dominic Bird, Nepo Laulala, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Owen Franks, Jimmy Tupou, Jordan Taufua, Andy Ellis, Tyler Bleyendaal, Tom Taylor.

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