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Skipper Read back for Crusaders

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/07/2016
Kieran Read of the Crusaders © Getty Images Kieran Read of the Crusaders

No.8 Kieran Read returns after a week off to lead the Crusaders against the Hurricanes in a match that could have a major bearing on the make-up of the Super Rugby quarter-finals.

The All Blacks skipper was given a rest after a hectic schedule and he saw his side thrash the Melbourne Rebels 85-26.

His return for the final round of the regular season means a reshuffled Crusaders loose trio will run out in Christchurch on Saturday night.

Jimmy Tupou goes from the back of the scrum to blindside flanker, while Jordan Taufua drops out of the game-day squad.

There is one other change to the starting 15, with All Black prop Wyatt Crockett returning in a rotation with Alex Hodgman, who goes to the bench.

The Crusaders are second in the New Zealand conference, while the Hurricanes are fourth.

But the conference is so tight that both still have hopes of finishing the weekend on top and claiming a coveted home quarter-final.

Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Johnny McNicholl, Ryan Crotty, David Havili, Nemani Nadolo, Richie Mo'unga, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (capt), Matt Todd, Jimmy Tupou, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Alex Hodgman, Mike Alaalatoa, Luke Romano, Pete Samu, Mitchell Drummond, Mitch Hunt, Kieron Fonotia.

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