Crusaders recall Richie McCaw as one of two changes
July 24, 2014
Greg Growden and Russell Barwick preview the Super Rugby semi-finals
The Crusaders have recalled Richie McCaw as one of two changes to their starting team to face the Sharks in the Super Rugby semi-final at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday.
McCaw, the All Blacks captain, returns, as expected, in the No.6 jumper with coach Todd Blackadder loathe to drop Matt Todd, the form openside fanker in New Zealand this season. McCaw has been absent since the three-Test series against England, inwhich he sustained a rib injury, and he returns at the expense of Jordan Taufua.
Blackadder, meanwhile, recalled hooker Corey Flynn to play his 150th game for the Crusaders, with Ben Funnell providing back-up from the bench.
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Blackadder said the team is preparing for it's toughest game yet, with the Crusaders and the Sharks ready to throw everything at each other in their quest to make the Super Rugby final against either New South Wales Brumbies or the Brumbies on August 2.
"The Sharks have shown this season that they are an extremely classy outfit and a very difficult team to beat," Blackadder said. "This is our biggest challenge yet, but we feel ready for it. It is going to be awesome to play in front of a home crowd for this semi-final on Saturday night and the roar of the crowd may just be the extra boost that gets us across the line."
Crusaders: Israel Dagg; Kieron Fonotia, Ryan Crotty , Nemani Nadolo, Dan Carter; Colin Slade, Andy Ellis; Kieran Read (captain), Matt Todd, Richie McCaw; Sam Whitelock, Dominic Bird; Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Replacements: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Nepo Laulala, Jimmy Tupou, Jordan Taufua, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Johnny McNicholl.
Richie McCaw has overcome his rib injury to face the Sharks © Getty Images
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