Sam Whitelock on bench for Reds clash

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 05:00 05/05/2012
Sam Whitelock
IT'S LONELY UP HERE: The All Blacks selectors have chosen to stick with just three locks, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano and Sam Whitelock.

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Todd Blackadder has tugged the handbrake on All Black Sam Whitelock.

Whitelock has again been left on the bench for tomorrow afternoon's match against the Reds at AMI Stadium, with Tom Donnelly and Luke Romano retained in the second row following last weekend's 37-33 win over the Waratahs.

The logic from coach Blackadder is a management plan has been structured to resist the 23-year-old running on empty. The lock is certain to figure in next month's three-test series against Ireland and Blackadder doesn't want him to be stale in the run to the playoffs in July.

"I thought that when Sam came on last week [in the second half] he turned things around and made a real impact," Blackadder said.

"There is no way we are pigeon-holing Sam. There is a long way to go in this season, I am just trying to do the best by the individual and the team so we get the right result."

Blackadder has made just one amendment to the side that beat the Tahs. Sean Maitland has recovered from his ankle injury after missing the last two rounds and replaces Adam Whitelock on the right wing.

By retaining Dan Carter at second five-eighth the Crusaders will again use Tom Taylor as their goal kicker.

Exactly when Carter will return to goal kicking remains uncertain.

Following his World Cup groin injury he has taken shots at goal just once this season, against the Bulls in Pretoria a month ago.

Aggravating the groin a fortnight ago has stymied his progress and if the problem lingers it will fuel speculation whether he will be fit to kick during the Irish series. Tomorrow's match will be Taylor's fifth start at No10.

This is the period when Super coaches usually negotiate player contracts but Taylor will not be involved.

He is already signed with the Crusaders until the end of next season.

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