Injured Crotty not named for NPC Final
Midfielder Ryan Crotty has been left out of the Canterbury team to meet Auckland in Saturday night's NPC final because of injury but may yet get a start at AMI Stadium.
Second five-eighth Crotty, who is still nursing the abdominal strain which ruled him out of last weekend's semi-final win over Taranaki in Christchurch, has again been replaced in the starting side by Tom Taylor.
Although Crotty was able to run a three-quarter pace during training at Rugby Park today he wasn't named in the official team list given to media.
A team spokesperson said this could change if an assessment of his complaint reveals he is comfortable enough to take the field.
Wing Adam Whitelock has been ruled out because of an eye injury. Telusa Veainu will run on the right flank and Willi Heinz, who usually deputises as back-up to halfback Andy Ellis, will start on the left wing.
Christchurch club player Matthew Thatcher, a utility back, has been added to the reserves as cover.
Canterbury coach Tabai Matson, who is looking to add another title to the province's string of successes after
Rob Penney guided them to four consecutive wins, has also enlisted All Blacks props Ben Franks and Wyatt Crockett in his front row.
The Canterbury womens' team will face Auckland in the curtain-raiser in their NPC final.
Canterbury: Johnny McNicholl, Telusa Veainu, Robbie Fruean, Tom Taylor, Willi Heinz, Tyler Bleyendaal, Andy Ellis, Luke Whitelock, Matt Todd, George Whitelock (captain), Dominic Bird, Joel Everson, Ben Franks, Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Joe Moody, Jed Brown, Jordan Taufua, Matthew Thatcher, Kolio Hifo, Stephen Gee.
- The Press
Is the Canterbury team 'mentally soft'?Related story: North Harbour stun hapless Canterbury team