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Todd, Crotty named Crusaders vice-captains

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/02/2017

All Blacks Matt Todd and Ryan Crotty will share the Crusaders vice-captain duties in Super Rugby, providing a complete break from leadership for Kieran Read.

Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson announced flanker Todd and midfield back Crotty will work under captain Sam Whitelock, the seasoned All Blacks lock.

All Blacks Test skipper Read led the Crusaders last year but has been given a reprieve from the domestic leadership duties in 2017.

"Matt and Ryan are both natural leaders who make a huge contribution through their intelligent reading of the game," said Robertson of the two 28-year-olds who have played more than 200 games between them, all for the Crusaders.

Both are in the starting side of a trial team to face the Hurricanes in Waverley on Friday.

Robertson has raised eyebrows by naming Chiefs recruit and three-Test All Blacks centre Seta Tamanivalu on the right wing.

Wearing No.13 in what looks close to their strongest backline is national age group standout Jack Goodhue.

Robertson has mixed his forward options, with flanker Jordan Taufua on an over-sized bench along with four Test tight forwards - Luke Romano, Joe Moody, Wyatt Crockett and Codie Taylor.

Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Ere Enari, Whetu Douglas, Matt Todd, Pete Samu, Sam Whitelock (capt), Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Ben Funnell, Tim Perry. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Joe Moody, Michael Alaalatoa, Luke Romano, Quinten Strange, Mitchell Dunshea, Jed Brown, Jordan Taufua, Bryn Hall, Mitchell Drummond, Mitch Hunt, Sione Fifita, David Havili, Sean Wainui, Manasa Mataele, Marty McKenzie.

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