Dagg back at 15 for Crusaders clash with Rebels

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has named his team to play the Rebels with several players being retained from last week but wearing different numbers on their backs.

Blackadder has kept 19 of the 23 players that beat the Stormers 14-13 last weekend but moved several of them to new positions.

There is just one change to the forwards with Ben Funnell starting at hooker this week instead of Corey Flynn, who is unavailable after suffering a fractured eye socket in last weekend’s match.

Codie Taylor enters the playing 23 for the first time this season to provide cover off the bench.

Nafi Tuitavake is the only player in the starting 15 who was not involved last week. He has recovered from a hamstring strain to take the right wing and Johnny McNicholl will take the left wing.

Andy Ellis takes the starting halfback spot again and, with Willi Heinz recovering from a calf injury, Mitchell Drummond has an opportunity to make his Crusaders debut if he comes off the bench.

Also up for a potential debut off the bench this week is winger Nemani Nadolo.

Colin Slade will move to first five for this game, which sees Tom Taylor shift out to second five and Ryan Crotty move into centre and Israel Dagg will start at fullback.

Crusaders

1. Wyatt Crockett , 2. Ben Funnell , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Luke Romano , 5. Samuel Whitelock , 6. Luke Whitelock , 7. Matt Todd , 8. Kieran Read (c) , 9. Andy Ellis , 10. Colin Slade , 11. Johnny McNicholl , 12. Tom Taylor , 13. Ryan Crotty (vc) , 14. Nafi Tuitavake , 15. Israel Dagg

Replacments : 16. Codie Taylor , 17. Tim Perry , 18. Nepo Laulala , 19. Dominic Bird , 20. Jordan Taufua , 21. Mitchell Drummond , 22. Kieron Fonotia , 23. Nemani Nadolo

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