Thursday, March 08, 2012

Crusaders rotate tight five for Chiefs clash TONY SMITH 07/03/2012

The Crusaders are continuing their rotation policy with World Cup frontrowers Owen Franks and Corey Flynn selected to start against the Chiefs in Napier on Friday night while lock Sam Whitelock is rested.
Coach Todd Blackadder has made four changes to the starting lineup which lost to the Highlanders last Saturday.
Flynn gets his first start of the season at hooker after a stress fracture in his foot delayed his pre-season and Franks also dons the No 3 jersey for the first time in 2012.  He will prop with brother Ben, who starts at loosehead with Wyatt Crockett on the bench.
Whitelock will be replaced in the second row by Luke Romano, who will pack down alongside ex-All Black Tom Donnelly.
Blackadder said Romano was due a start after two outings as a second-half substitute against the Blues and the Highlanders.
Zac Guildford will start on the left wing after a cameo appearance as a substitute in Dunedin after completing his suspension for a drunken rampage in Raratonga last year.  Guildford replaces Tom Marshall with Sean Maitland moving to fullback, his ITM Cup campaign role with Canterbury.
Midfielder Ryan Crotty is still not fully recovered from the hamstring twinge which forced him to miss the Highlanders match.  Adam Whitelock will continue at second five-eighth outside Tyler Bleyendaal.
There is a better balance to the bench in terms of with Tom Taylor joining Marshall as backline cover. Both can play in the five-eighths or in the back-three.
Crusaders: Sean Maitland, Israel Dagg, Robbie Fruean, Adam Whitelock, Zac Guildford, Tyler Bleyendaal,  Andy Ellis,  Kieran Read (capt), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Tom Donnelly, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks. Reserves: Quentin MacDonald,  Wyatt Crockett, Sam Whitelock, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Tom Marshall.

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