Whitelock skippers Crusaders against England
Tom Hamilton in Christchurch
June 15, 2014
George Whitelock will lead Crusaders against England © Getty Images
George Whitelock will skipper the Crusaders against England on Tuesday night.
The game is the third in England's four-game trip of New Zealand and they will want to bounce back after losing their first two Tests against the All Blacks. With the Crusaders largely void of their Test contingent, they have received a boost with Matt Todd released by the NZRU for the game and he is named on their bench.
Corey Flynn is named at hooker for the Crusaders with George Whitelock joined by brother Luke in their back-row. Tyler Bleyendaal is named at fly-half with Tom Taylor anchoring the team at fullback. Prop Joe Moody also returns to rugby off the bench after overcoming the leg injury that ended his All Blacks hopes last year. The uncapped Moody was ruled out of New Zealand's northern hemisphere tour after breaking his left leg in Canterbury's ITM Cup final win over Wellington Lions.
"This is such a special occasion for so many reasons and the team has been absolutely buzzing in the lead up to this game," Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder said. "For our players this is a great chance to pit themselves against one of the world's best international sides. For our fans, this will be a great spectacle and also a celebration of how far Christchurch has come.
"Local rugby fans were gutted when the earthquakes took away our opportunity to host England at the last Rugby World Cup, so it is fantastic to have the chance to host them now. We know the England team particularly wanted to make the effort to play in Christchurch while they were here and we are very grateful for that."
Crusaders: Tom Taylor, Johnny McNicholl, Reynold Lee-Lo, Kieron Fonotia, Nafi Tuitavake, Tyler Bleyendaal, Willi Heinz; Tim Perry, Corey Flynn, Nepo Laulala, Jimmy Tupou, Joel Everson, Jordan Taufua, George Whitelock (captain), Luke Whitelock
Replacements: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Siate Tokolahi, Scott Barrett, Matt Todd, Andy Ellis, Adam Whitelock, Rob Thompson
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.