Crusaders make seven changes for Hurricanes

Crusaders Head coach Todd Blackadder has named a team with seven changes to the starting line up for their final home game this season and four further changes in the replacements.

Injuries from last week’s loss to the Waratahs have forced several changes for this must win match against the tournament leaders.

Prop Alex Hodgman will make his first start of the season with Joe Moody out with a foot injury.

Providing prop cover on the bench are Nepo Laulala and Tim Perry, who is set to play his first game since rupturing his achilles at the end of 2014.

Three players have been ruled out this week following head knocks in the game against the Waratahs, they are lock Sam Whitelock, number 8 Kieran Read and midfielder Ryan Crotty.

That sees Jimmy Tupou start at lock alongside Luke Romano, while Dominic Bird takes a spot on the bench.

Richie McCaw steps into captaincy duties and the number 7 jersey, with Matt Todd playing at 6, Jordan Taufua at 8 and Luke Whitelock on the bench.

Robbie Fruean is making his return from injury at centre and David Havili will start at 2nd five.

Colin Slade and Israel Dagg are also both out with injuries this week, so Dan Carter starts at 1st five on Friday night, Tom Taylor at fullback and Kieron Fonotia joins the replacements.


1. Alex Hodgman ,2 .Ben Funnell , 3.Owen Franks , 4.Luke Romano , 5.Jimmy Tupou , 6.Matt Todd , 7.Richie McCaw (c) , 8.Jordan Taufua, 9.Mitchell Drummond 10.Dan Carter , 11.Nemani Nadolo , 12. David Havili , 13.Robbie Fruean ,14 .Nafi Tuitavake , 15 , Tom Taylor

Replacements : 16.Codie Taylor ,17.Tim Perry ,18.Nepo Laulala , 19. Dominic Bird, 20 .Luke Whitelock , 21.Andy Ellis , 22.Kieron Fonotia , 23. Jone Macilai ,

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