Thursday, April 28, 2011

Richie McCaw to make first start for Crusaders

NZPA - (28/04/2011)

Richie McCaw has been named to start the Crusaders' Investec Super rugby match against the Western Force in Perth on Saturday night and will lead the side providing he gets through today's training run.

A bruised foot following recovery from a foot stress fracture forced McCaw to miss last weekend's match against the Highlanders.

The Crusaders lost 26-18, letting the Blues grab the lead in the New Zealand conference.McCaw will start at No 8, replacing Joe Wheeler, who has been bracketed on the bench with former All Black Reuben Thorne.

In five other changes to last week's starting lineup, Corey Flynn and Ben Franks come in at hooker and prop for Quentin MacDonald and Owen Franks respectively.Luke Romano, who played almost 60 minutes when coming on for the injured Brad Thorn last weekend, will lock the scrum with Chris Jack.

Sonny Bill Williams starts at second-five ahead of Adam Whitelock, and Sean Maitland comes back to the right wing, replacing Tom Marshall.

Willi Heinz comes on to the reserves bench as halfback cover for Kahn Fotuali'i.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said he was expecting a good response from his players following the loss to the Highlanders.

"It's important that we start our trip with a good performance and I'm sure we'll get that against the Force who always lift for games against the Crusaders," he said."Having Richie back is obviously a big boost and he's keen to get stuck in again."

Not considered due to injury were Andy Ellis (thumb), Brad Thorn (calf), Dan Carter (hamstring) and Sam Whitelock (ankle).

Crusaders team to play Western Force in a Super rugby match in Perth on Saturday: at


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