• Read to miss Ellis Park match

    The Crusaders have made six changes to their starting XV for Saturday's clash against the Lions.

    Captain and No 8 Kieran Read is unavailable for selection due to a head knock he received in last weekend's loss to the Hurricanes in Christchurch. Luke Whitelock will take his place after starting on the blindside flank last weekend.

    In other changes, Dominic Bird joins Samuel Whitelock in the second row after Luke Romano was ruled out of contention with a calf injury sustained last weekend while George Whitelock comes in at No 6.

    Ryan Crotty will assume the captaincy and also shifts from outside centre to the No 12 jersey.

    Two backline players will get their first starts of the season – Kieron Fonotia at outside centre and Nemani Nadolo on the right wing.

    Crusaders – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Nemani Nadolo, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty (c), 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
    Subs: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Tyler Bleyendaal, 23 Tom Taylor.

    Photo: Martin Hunter/Getty Images

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    Simon Borchardt