You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Kieran Read back at No.8 for Crusaders

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/04/2017
Kieran Read © Brett Hemmings/Getty Images Kieran Read

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read will make his first appearance of the Super Rugby season when the Crusaders tackle the Sunwolves in Christchurch on Friday.

Read will wear the No.8 jersey, after working his way back to fitness following wrist surgery.

Read tested his wrist last weekend in Christchurch club rugby, playing half a game for his University team against Linwood without problem.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has made a raft of changes to the side that beat the Waratahs in Sydney a fortnight ago for the Sunwolves' first game in New Zealand.

Just five players from the match-day 23 which beat the Waratahs 41-22 will start in the same position.

Captain Sam Whitelock and vice-captain Matt Todd retain their spots at lock and loose forward, while Mitchell Drummond starts again at halfback.

Utility backs David Havili and Marty McKenzie will again wear the 15 and 22 jerseys respectively.

First five-eighth Richie Mo'unga will return for the first time since round one, when he fractured a bone in his hand.

Two other players also returning from recent injury are Jack Goodhue, who will start at centre, and Seta Tamanivalu who will play on the opposite wing to his nephew Manasa Mataele for the first time.

Two Tasman players are set to debut off the bench, Andrew Makalio at hooker and Quinten Strange at lock.

Prop Wyatt Crockett will set a new record for the most Super Rugby appearances by any player when he runs on for his 176th match.

Crusaders: David Havili, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Tim Bateman, Manasa Mataele, Richie Mo'unga, Mitchell Drummond, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Pete Samu, Sam Whitelock (captain), Luke Romano, Michael Alaalatoa, Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Andrew Makalio, Joe Moody, Oliver Jager, Quinten Strange, Whetu Douglas, Leon Fukofuka, Marty McKenzie, George Bridge.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon