Dagg back as Crusaders ring changes

first_imgHe’s been named on the wing for Saturday’s clash with the Rebels in Melbourne.The outside back played a half game of club rugby a fortnight ago and declared himself fit to play for the Crusaders, but he was left out of last weekend’s win over the Chiefs in Suva.Dagg hasn’t played Super Rugby since March after injuring his knee against the Reds and now has two games to prove his match fitness before the All Blacks first test of the year against Samoa.Dagg’s inclusion is one of ten changes the Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has made to the starting fifteen that beat the Chiefs last weekend, using the trip to Melbourne to rest a number of key men, including Matt Todd, Ryan Crotty, Owen Franks and Codie Taylor.The Test quartet have all been left out of the matchday squad.Last week’s bench front row of Wyatt Crockett, Ben Funnell and Mike Alaalatoa becomes the starting front row for Saturday night.Andrew Makalio, Joe Moody and Oli Jager will provide cover.Lock Quinten Strange will make his first start of the season, pairing up with Sam Whitelock, while Luke Romano takes a spot on the bench.The loose forward trio will be Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Pete Samu and Jordan Taufua, with Jed Brown having recovered from injury to take a place in the reserves.Manasa Mataele is on the opposite wing to Dagg with Tim Bateman stepping into the second five spot. Seta Tamanivalu will make his start at centre.Crusaders team to play the Rebels:1. Wyatt Crockett2. Ben Funnell3. Michael Alaalatoa4. Quinten Strange5. Sam Whitelock (C)6. Heiden Bedwell-Curtis7. Pete Samu8. Jordan Taufua9. Bryn Hall10. Richie Mo’unga11. Manasa Mataele12. Tim Bateman13. Seta Tamanivalu14. Israel Dagg15. David HaviliRESERVES16. Andrew Makalio17. Joe Moody18. Oli Jager19. Luke Romano20. Jed Brown21. Mitchell Drummond22. Mitchell Hunt23. George Bridgelast_img

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