|Israel Dagg (Photo credit: geoftheref)|
The new Crusade begins - Dagg on the wing...
All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg has been named on the wing for the Crusaders opening Super Rugby match against the Blues at Eden Park on Friday night.
Although he is still considered the best number 15 in New Zealand after starring in the All Blacks victorious World Cup campaign, Dagg has made way for Tom Marshall after the young Tasman back started in all three pre-season matches from the back.
Coach Todd Blackadder has made four changes to the side which beat the Rebels last week.
Wyatt Crockett comes into the number one jersey, and Ben Franks moves from loosehead prop to tighthead prop in place of brother Owen who will take the bench.
Sam Whitelock and Tom Donnelly remain the starting locks but switch jerseys. They will be backed up by Luke Romano on the bench.
Robbie Fruean returns to centre and Ryan Crotty has recovered from a hamstring strain to start at second five. Adam Whitelock and Tom Taylor who have filled this position in the last two warm-up games are both named in the reserves.
Crusaders: 15. Tom Marshall, 14. Sean Maitland, 13. Robbie Fruean, 12. Ryan Crotty, 11. Israel Dagg, 10. Tyler Bleyendaal, 9. Andy Ellis (vice capt), 8. Kieran Read (capt), 7. Matt Todd, 6. George Whitelock, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 4. Tom Donnelly, 3. Ben Franks, 2. Quentin MacDonald, 1. Wyatt Crockett.
Reserves: 16. Corey Flynn, 17. Owen Franks, 18 Luke Romano, 19. Luke Whitelock 20. Willie Heinz, 21. Tom Taylor 22. Adam Whitelock.
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