Kieran Read will lead the Crusaders against the Sharks in one of seven changes to their starting lineup for Saturday's Super Rugby match in Durban.
Read takes over the captaincy from Sam Whitelock, who led the Saders against the Chiefs, Blues and Kings. Read returns to the starting lineup along with Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Andy Ellis and Scott Barrett, who were all rested last weekend, with six All Blacks named in the Crusaders pack.
Most notably, coach Todd Blackadder has rewarded the form of youngster Scott Barrett, who starts at lock ahead of All Black Luke Romano.
Among the backs, Ryan Crotty will start his first game of the year when he runs out at No 12 alongside Kieron Fonotia, with David Havili moving to fullback in place of Ben Volavola to accommodate Crotty.
'We see the Sharks as a really physical, confrontational up-front team and have selected our team based on that,' Blackadder commented.
Crusaders – 15 David Havili, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody. Subs: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jimmy Tupou, 21 Tim Boys, 22 Mitchell Drummond, 23 Ben Volavola.
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