Crusaders make four changes for clash with Blues

Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder has named a Super Rugby team with four changes to the starting side that lost to the Chiefs for this week’s clash against the Blues at AMI Stadium.

Mitchell Drummond will start at halfback with Andy Ellis moving to the replacements bench.

Ryan Crotty has recovered from a head knock and will start at centre, with Kieron Fonotia ready to provide some impact from the bench.

In the forward pack, Codie Taylor and Ben Funnell have rotated so that Taylor starts at hooker this week, as have Owen Franks and Nepo Laulala with Franks starting at tighthead.

Blackadder says the overall 23 is largely unchanged from last week in a showing of faith from the coaches that these players can do the job.

“While we haven’t got the results we need in the last couple of weeks, we are not hitting the panic button and making wholesale changes because we know that our men will step up,” said Blackadder.

“There is an immense amount of talent in this group and the changes that need to happen to turn our losses into wins are not big changes.”

“Nobody will be more determined to turn things around than these boys are,” added the head coach.


1 Wyatt Crockett ,2 Codie Taylor, 3 Owen Franks, 4 Luke Romano , 5 Sam Whitelock ,6 Jordan Taufua,7 Richie McCaw, 8 Kieran Read (c), 9 Mitchell Drummond, 10 Colin Slade, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 12 Dan Carter, 13 Ryan Crotty, 14 David Havili ,15 Tom Taylor

Replacements : 16 Ben Funnell ,17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala ,19 Jimmy Tupou , 20 Matt Todd,21 Andy Ellis, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.

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