Crusaders stick with unchanged backline

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has named an unchanged backline to face the Highlanders in Saturday’s Super Rugby match in Christchurch.

Blackadder has tweaked his forwards, but is running with the same backline which featured in the Crusaders’ 52-10 demolition job on the Sharks in Durban last week.

There is one significant change on the bench, however, where All Blacks five-eighth Dan Carter returns from paternity leave.

Joe Moody and Owen Franks return to the front row, with Franks playing his 100th game for the Crusaders, while Jimmy Tupou will start at lock alongside Sam Whitelock.

Crusaders: Israel Dagg, David Havili, Kieron Fonotia, Ryan Crotty, Nemani Nadolo, Colin Slade, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (captain), Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Sam Whitelock, Jimmy Tupou, Owen Franks, Ben Funnell, Joe Moody. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Richie McCaw, Mitchell Drummond, Dan Carter, Nafi Tuitavake.

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