Saders drop Jack brings you the latest Super 14 news from New Zealand.

Saders drop Jack

Todd Blackadder has made two changes to his run-on side for the Crusaders’ crucial clash against the Brumbies.

Lock Chris Jack drops to the bench while Sam Whitelock is promoted to the starting line-up. Tighthead prop Owen Franks also starts ahead of Wyatt Crockett.

Scrumhalf Willi Heinz replaces Kahn Fotuali’ on the bench.

Crusaders – 15 Colin Slade, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Daniel Bowden, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ti’i Paulo, 1 Ben Franks.
Subs: 16 Dan Perrin, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Chris Jack, 19 Thomas Waldrom, 20 Willi Heinz, 21, Tim Bateman, 22 Jared Payne.

Smith back, Vito out

Conrad Smith recovered from his head injury in time for the Hurricanes’ clash against the Waratahs, but Victor Vito is still sidelined.

Both players returned to training on Monday, but only Smith was cleared for Friday’s match in Sydney. Smith replaces Jason Kawau at outside centre.

Scrumhalf Piri Weepu is also an injury concern after limping off the field at training on Wednesday with ice on his ankle. Head coach Colin Cooper said Weepu is likely to be available.

‘Hopefully it is just bruising,’ Cooper said at training. ‘If it’s bruising he’ll be fine. We’ve got a pretty good medical group.’

Hurricanes – 15 Cory Jane, 14 Tamati Ellison, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Rodney So’oialo, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 Jeremy Thrush, 4 Bryn Evans 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore (c), 1 John Schwalger.
Subs: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Nick Crosswell, 19 Scott Waldrom, 20 Tyson Keats, 21 Jason Kawau/Willie Ripia, 22 David Smith.

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