Thursday, March 29, 2012

Back in No 10 - Dan Carter starting for Crusaders RICHARD KNOWLER IN JOHANNESBURG 29/03/2012

Dan Carter is back in the Crusaders starting team but is uncertain if he will last the full 80 minutes against the Lions.
The All Blacks first five-eighth was released off the bench during the halftime break of last Saturday night's 28-21 win over the Cheetahs in Christchurch and will start in the No 10 jersey at Ellis Park on Sunday morning (NZT).
It will be his first run-on appearance of the year.
Carter spent the majority of last night's (NZT) training at first-five and looked to have suffered few ill-effects from his comeback match at AMI Stadium.
However, he was realistic about his chances of playing to the final whistle against the Lions as the combined effects of altitude, the heat, travel and a lack of match fitness wear him down.
"I was definitely pretty tired after just 40 minutes last week, so 80 might be a stretch,'' Carter said after training.
"Once you get out there, you communicate with the coaches and see how you are feeling. I will definitely target the first half and re-assess at halftime to see how I am going.''
Carter confirmed he will not be taking the goal kicks as he continues to manage his comeback from his groin injury.
Tom Taylor will handle those responsibilities after kicking 13 points against the Cheetahs last weekend. He has been named at second five-eighth with Ryan Crotty having been relegated to the bench to make room.
If Carter does not last 80 minutes Taylor will move to first-five in the re-shuffle and Crotty will slot into the midfield alongside Robbie Fruean.
Despite spending the previous six months recovering from the operation to repair the groin muscle he ruptured during the World Cup, and holidaying around South America and the United States, Carter returned to Super duties in decent physical condition.
He looked reasonably sharp in the 40 minutes against the Cheetahs and fired the well-timed pass that led to Robbie Fruean's try.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder will also start Wyatt Crockett at loosehead prop ahead of Ben Franks and George Whitelock will replace his youngest sibling Luke at blindside flanker.
Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Sean Maitland, Robbie Fruean, Tom Taylor, Zac Guildford, Dan Carter, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (captain), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Ben Franks, Tom Donnelly, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Ryan Crotty, Tom Marshall.

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