Crusaders rest Matt Todd, Sam Whitelock
April 11, 2013
Matt Todd produced strong efforts against the Stormers and the Sharks © Getty Images
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has decided to rest lock Sam Whitelock and flanker Matt Todd from the team to play Western Force in Perth on Saturday, after the pair bore a heavy lead on the South African leg of the tour.
Dominic Bird replaces Whitelock in the second row, making his second start after featuring in four games this season as a replacement, while Shane Christie will make his first appearance for the side in the No. 7 jumper.
Corey Flynn returns at hooker in place of Ben Funnell to play his 250th first class game, having missed the Sharks match with an eye injury sustained in training, while Israel Dagg, returns at fullback, with Tom Marshall moving to the wing and Zac Guildford to the bench. Dagg played off the bench against the Sharks, having missed three weeks with a hamstring strain.
Dan Carter, meanwhile, is set to sit on the sidelines for at least two weeks by his hamstring injury. Carter flew to Perth this week, but he returned home following the diagnosis of his injury.
Crusaders: Israel Dagg; Adam Whitelock, Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Tom Marshall; Tyler Bleyendaal, Andy Ellis; Luke Whitelock, Shane Christie, George Whitelock (captain); Dominic Bird, Luke Romano; Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Replacements: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Tom Donnelly, Jordan Taufua, Willi Heinz, Telusa Veainu, Zac Guildford.
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports
Wales did the All Blacks a favour with their best effort against New Zealand for many years, for 68 minutes at Millennium Stadium, Craig Dowd writes
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection