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

McNicholl in for banned Nadolo

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/05/2016

Johnny McNicholl of the Crusaders reacts during the round four Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Kings at AMI Stadium on March 19, 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand © Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images Johnny McNicholl of the Crusaders reacts during the round four Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Kings at AMI Stadium on March 19, 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand Wing Johnny McNicholl will return to Super Rugby from a toe injury in one of five changes to the Crusaders' starting line-up to face the Queensland Reds in Christchurch.

McNicholl's availability is timely, as Fiji international Nemani Nadolo is sitting out a four-week ban for a tip tackle in the 40-14 win over the Brumbies.

With Crusaders having a bye last weekend, the match against the Reds on Friday night will be the first of three that Nadolo will miss.

Coach Todd Blackadder, whose side has strung together seven wins in a row to be second in the New Zealand conference, has rotated his halfbacks, with Mitchell Drummond coming into the run-on side for Andy Ellis.

There are three changes in the pack, including at lock, where Sam Whitelock takes over from Luke Romano.

Prop Mike Alaalatoa and Wyatt Crockett will also start, while Owen Franks and Joe Moody join Ellis and Romano among the reserves.

The bench also includes midfield back Ryan Crotty, who missed the win over the Brumbies with a hamstring injury, a week after making his 100th Super Rugby appearance.

Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Johnny McNicholl, Kieron Fonotia, David Havili, Jone Macilai, Richie Mo'unga, Mitchell Drummond, Kieran Read (captain), Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Mike Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Owen Franks, Luke Romano, Tim Boys, Andy Ellis, Ryan Crotty, Marty McKenzie.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon