Carter back for Crusaders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carter back for Crusaders

09/02/2011 05:43:34 PM Comments (0)

Three high-profile All Blacks return to action for the first time since the triumphant Grand Slam tour when the Crusaders and Highlanders meet in their final Super rugby trial in Oamaru on Friday.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has included Dan Carter, Brad Thorn and Kieran Read for game three of the pre-season, the trio's only hit out before the season-opening clash with the Blues in Auckland on February 19.

Their presence is a boost for Blackadder following yesterday's revelations that inspirational All Blacks and Crusaders captain Richie McCaw will be sidelined for six weeks with a foot injury.

Former All Blacks hooker Corey Flynn also makes his first appearance since injuring a calf during Canterbury's successful ITM Cup campaign last year.

Lock Sam Whitelock is the only member of the Crusaders current All Black contingent to be involved in each of the team's pre-season games - he also featured in the 42-15 loss to Queensland and last weekend's 19-14 win over the Melbourne Rebels.

However, in a positional switch Whitelock will play on the blindside flank to accommodate Thorn's return to the second row alongside former All Black Chris Jack.

Whitelock's older brother George starts on the openside flank, where he is in competition with Matt Todd to fill the void left by McCaw during the early rounds of the competition.

Fullback Israel Dagg was not considered after straining a quad muscle against the Rebels.

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