McCaw back for Crusaders on the bench for Reds

Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder has named a starting team with three changes and Richie McCaw on the replacements bench for Friday’s Super Rugby match against the Reds in Christchurch.

The match is the Crusaders final guaranteed home game this season as their Round 16 match has been moved to Nelson.

Nepo Laulala will pack down in the front row with Codie Taylor and Wyatt Crockett this week and Alex Hodgman and Joe Moody will provide prop cover from the reserves.

Dominic Bird pairs up with Sam Whitelock at lock, and Nafi Tuitavake will play on the right wing.

In the replacements , Richie McCaw returns from a head knock received in the Blues game and outside back Jone Macilai will play his first Super Rugby game since breaking his arm in the pre-season.

Christchurch fans will be asked to stick around after the match to pay tribute to five special Crusaders and to thank them for their contribution to the team.

Tom Taylor, Colin Slade, Dan Carter and Willi Heinz have all announced that they will be heading offshore after this season, and Richie McCaw has also indicated that it could be his final season, which means it could be the last chance for Christchurch fans to see them in action for the Crusaders.


1. Wyatt Crockett, 2.Codie Taylor , 3. Nepo Laulala , 4. Dominic Bird , 5. Sam Whitelock, 6. Jordan Taufua, 7. Matt Todd, 8. Kieran Read (c) , 9. Andy Ellis, 10. Colin Slade , 11. Nemani Nadolo , 12. Dan Carter , 13. Ryan Crotty , 14. Nafi Tuitavake , 15. Tom Taylor ,

Replacements :16 Ben Funnell ,17 Alex Hodgman , 18 Joe Moody ,19 Jimmy Tupou,20 Richie McCaw ,21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Jone Macilai.

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