Crusanders team to face DHL Stormers



When the Crusaders take on the Stormers this Saturday night, one player will be primed to make his Crusaders debut and two of the team’s most senior players receive international awards.

 Fans at AMI Stadium will be able to share in the occasion of Kieran Read and Richie McCaw receiving their trophies from the IRB for the International Player of the Year and 2013 Team of the Year (All Blacks) respectively.  A presentation will take place at the conclusion of the match.

 Meanwhile, Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has made seven changes to his starting line-up for the Stormers game. Wyatt Crockett will start at number one this week and Tim Perry moves to the bench. Luke Romano takes one of the starting lock positions alongside Sam Whitelock.  Luke Whitelock takes the number 6 jersey from his eldest brother George, who is recovering from an adductor strain. And with Richie McCaw having just had surgery on a broken thumb, Matt Todd steps into the number 7 starting spot and Jordan Taufua will take a place on the bench.

 In the backs, Willi Heinz will start at halfback this week and Andy Ellis will be ready to provide cover from the bench.  Israel Dagg starts on one wing this week and Johnny McNicholl on the other.  Nafi Tuitavake is recovering from a hamstring strain, which gives Tasman centre Kieron Fonotia the chance to make his Crusaders debut if he comes off the bench.

 Crusaders team to play the Stormers:


  1. Wyatt Crockett
  2. Corey Flynn
  3. Owen Franks
  4. Luke Romano
  5. Samuel Whitelock
  6. Luke Whitelock
  7. Matt Todd
  8. Kieran Read (c)
  9. Willi Heinz
  10. Tom Taylor
  11. Israel Dagg
  12. Ryan Crotty (vc)
  13. Reynold Lee-Lo
  14. Johnny McNicholl
  15. Colin Slade


  1. Ben Funnell
  2. Tim Perry
  3. Nepo Laulala
  4. Dominic Bird
  5. Jordan Taufua
  6. Andy Ellis
  7. Tyler Bleyendaal
  8. Kieron Fonotia


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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Not sure who is more nervous about this game though. The Crusaders will by 0 from 3 if they lose this one and although they seem to manage to claw themselves back into the playoffs after these slow starts to the season it means they end up playing away from home at the sharp end of the playoffs. Stormers on the other hand might be content with coming away with a bonus point for a narrow loss (high probability) or dare I suggest it, a four try bonus ( low probability).

  2. @out wide:

    if they keep their defensive allignment the same as in the Canes game where they waited for the Canes to run at them the Saders won’t make as many mistakes and let the Stormers get away with it.

    Stormers have no idea in attack and their defensive structure does not have the pressure ellement like they had in the previous years – I expect a looong season for the Stormers unless they can get their :poop: together!