McCaw back for Crusaders to meet Force - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McCaw back for Crusaders to meet Force

28/04/2011 02:00:15 PM Comments (0)

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has been named to return in the Crusaders' Super Rugby match against the Western Force in Perth on Saturday night provided he gets through Thursday's training run.

A bruised foot following recovery from a foot stress fracture forced McCaw to miss last weekend's 26-18 upset loss to the Highlanders and the skipper has played only 20 minutes this season.

McCaw has been picked out of his usual flanker position to start at No.8, with the impressive Matt Todd retaining the openside flanker role.

But champion playmaker Dan Carter will miss the game with his hamstring injury along with fellow All Blacks in halfback Andy Ellis (thumb) and locks Brad Thorn (calf) and Sam Whitelock (ankle).

Sonny Bill Williams returns from a rest on the bench to start at inside centre among five other changes to last week's starting lineup.

Corey Flynn and Ben Franks come in at hooker and prop for Quentin MacDonald and Owen Franks respectively, Luke Romano will lock the scrum with veteran Chris Jack and Sean Maitland comes back to the right wing replacing Tom Marshall.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said he was expecting a good response from his players following the loss to the Highlanders.

"It's important that we start our trip with a good performance and I'm sure we'll get that against the Force who always lift for games against the Crusaders," he said.

"Having Richie back is obviously a big boost and he's keen to get stuck in again."

Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Sean Maitland, Robbie Fruean, Sonny Bill Williams, Zac Guildford, Matt Berquist, Kahn Fotuali'i, Richie McCaw (capt), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Chris Jack, Luke Romano, Ben Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Res: Quentin MacDonald, Owen Franks, Joe Wheeler/Reuben Thorne, Jonathan Poff, Willi Heinz, Tom Marshall, Adam Whitelock.

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