Posted by Rugby 365 on March 13, 2015
Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock and Nemani Nadolo will make their 2015 return to Super Rugby on Saturday when the Crusaders take on the Lions.
They are among 10 changes to the starting line-up that faced the Chiefs two weeks ago.
Kieran Read will play at No.8 and captain the side.
That sees Jordan Taufua move into No.6 and Richie McCaw to No.7.
Sam Whitelock will pair up with Luke Romano at lock, and Scott Barrett will provide cover from the bench.
The other change in the forwards is Owen Franks’ return at prop after serving his two week suspension.
In the backs, Andy Ellis will take the starting scrumhalf spot.
Nemani Nadolo will play his first Super Rugby game of 2015 on the eight wing, with Johnny McNicholl on the other wing.
Dan Carter returns from injury to play at flyhalf, pushing Ryan Crotty out one place to centre.
David Havili is set to play his debut game for the Crusaders if he comes off the bench.
Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 David Havili.
Date: Saturday, March 14
Venue: AMMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 16.30 (03.30 GMT, 05.30 SAST)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)