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Dagg back for Crusaders in Super Rugby

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/04/2016

Israel Dagg will make his return to Super Rugby when he runs out for the Crusaders against the Jaguares, seven months after suffering a serious shoulder injury.

Dagg's inclusion for Ben Volavola is one of five changes to the Crusaders' starting side for the match in Christchurch on Friday night.

The 49-Test All Black, who dislocated his shoulder in Hawke's Bay's Ranfurly Shield win over Auckland last September, will go in against the Jaguares having had 30 minutes of club rugby under his belt.

At centre Kieron Fonotia comes in for Sean Wainui, while the experienced Andy Ellis is back at halfback, replacing Mitchell Drummond, who joins Volavola and Wainui on the bench.

There are two changes in the pack, including at lock where Scott Barrett takes over from Sam Whitelock, who is being given a breather after a heavy workload.

At loosehead prop, Joe Moody is promoted off the bench in a swap with Wyatt Crockett.

The match will be second five-eighth Ryan Crotty's 100th in Super Rugby.

After five wins in a row, the Crusaders sit fourth in the Australasian group, while the Jaguares, who began their debut season with victory over the Cheetahs in South Africa, have since had five successive defeats.

Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Johnny McNicholl, Kieron Fonotia, Ryan Crotty, Nemani Nadolo, Richie Mo'unga, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (capt), Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Scott Barrett, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody.

Reserves: Ged Robinson, Wyatt Crockett, Mike Alaalatoa, Jimmy Tupou, Tim Boys, Mitchell Drummond, Sean Wainui, Ben Volavola.

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