Slade starts at fullback for Crusaders against Reds

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has named his team to play the Reds in a Super Rugby trial match with Dan Carter at 10 and Colin Slade at 15.

The match will be the Crusaders final warm up for the Investec Super Rugby season and they start the season at home against the Rebels in Christchurch.

Owen Franks and Colin Slade join the line-up for the first time this pre-season, and Dan Carter makes his first start at 10.

Stand in captain Matt Todd has recovered from an ankle injury and starts at openside.

Robbie Fruean who spent last season with the Chiefs has returned to the Crusaders and starts on the wing.

Blackadder said that, like the other warm-up games against the Highlanders and Hurricanes, he would be treating this as an opportunity to trial some combinations ahead of the season starting.

“These games have been a great opportunity for some of the newer players in the training squad in particular to get some game practice, and for players who may not have played in the same team previously to get used to playing together.

“We’re starting to get a good feel for which combinations are firing and where we need more work. We were really pleased with what we saw in the last quarter of our last game, so we’ll be looking to step it up from there this week, ” Blackadder said.

Crusaders

15. Colin Slade, 14. Robbie Fruean, 13. Kieron Fonotia, 12. Tom Taylor, 11. Jonny McNicholl, 10. Dan Carter, 9. Mitchell Drummound, 8. Luke Whitelock, 7. Matt Todd, 6.Jimmy Tupou, 5.Dominic Bird, 4.Luke Romano, 3.Owen Franks, 2.Codie Taylor, 1.Alex Hodgman.

Replacements: Ben Funnell, Ged Robinson, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Scott Barrett, Tom Sanders, Billy Guyton, Nathaniel Apa, Nafi Tuitavaki, David Havili.

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