• Crusaders bench big guns

    Dan Carter and Richie McCaw will start on the bench for the Crusaders' match against the Highlanders in Christchurch on Saturday.

    The Crusaders have made three changes to their starting XV, all among the forwards. All Blacks duo Joe Moody and Owen Franks will start in the front row, with Alex Hodgman and Nepo Laulala providing cover from the bench.

    Lock Jimmy Tupou has been handed a start alongside Sam Whitelock in the second row, with Scott Barrett named among the reserves.

    Carter, who missed the match against the Sharks to attend the birth of his child, will make his return from the replacements bench, while coach Todd Blackadder has retained faith in the loose trio that performed so effectively in Durban.

    Crusaders – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 David Havili, 13 Keiron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Jimmy Tupou, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.
    Subs: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Nepo Lualala, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Richie McCaw, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Dan Carter, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.

    Super Rugby teams (Round 9)

    Photo: Fiona Goodall/AFP Photo