McCaw returns as Crusaders change two for Sharks

The Crusaders have brought Richie McCaw back as one of two changes for this weekend’s Super Rugby Semi-final against the Sharks at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has made two changes to the starting side that beat the Highlanders two weeks ago.

Richie McCaw has recovered from injury to return to the line-up and will play at number 6 on Saturday night. That sees Jordan Taufua move to the bench.

Corey Flynn will take the starting hooker spot for his 150th Crusaders game, with Ben Funnell providing back-up from the bench.

The Crusaders qualified for this semi-final at home by finishing the regular season at second on the points table, while the Sharks beat the Highlanders in a quarter-final last weekend to qualify.

Blackadder said the team is preparing for it’s toughest game yet as both teams will be throwing everything they’ve got at it in their quest to make the Grand Final.

“The Sharks have shown this season that they are an extremely classy outfit and a very difficult team to beat. This is our biggest challenge yet, but we feel ready for it.

“It is going to be awesome to play in front of a home crowd for this semi-final on Saturday night and the roar of the crowd may just be the extra boost that gets us across the line,” Blackadder said.


1. Wyatt Crockett ,2. Corey Flynn,3. Owen Franks,4. Dominic Bird ,5. Samuel Whitelock ,6. Richie McCaw, 7. Matt Todd ,8. Kieran Read (C),9. Andy Ellis ,10. Colin Slade , 11. Nemani Nadolo , 12. Dan Carter , 13. Ryan Crotty (VC) , 14. Kieron Fonotia , 15. Israel Dagg ,

Replacements : 16. Ben Funnell , 17. Joe Moody ,18. Nepo Laulala ,19. Jimmy Tupou ,20. Jordan Taufua ,21. Willi Heinz , 22. Tom Taylor ,23. Johnny McNicholl

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