Read’s return boosts Crusaders

The Crusaders have made four changes for Saturday's clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

The only player who was not involved in last week's win over the Lions is Kieran Read, who returns to captain the side having recovered from a head knock two weeks ago. He replaces Luke Whitelock, who has returned to New Zealand with a knee injury.

There are also some rotations between starting positions and the bench. Corey Flynn will start at hooker this weekend with Ben Funnell moving to the reserves, Nepo Laulala will start at tighthead prop while Owen Franks takes a spot on the bench, and scrumhalves Willi Heinz and Andy Ellis have swapped so that Heinz wears No 9 this week.

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

Super Rugby teams (Round 9)

Photo: Sandra Mu/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt