Braid at eight for Blues
17 May 2012
Luke Braid will start at No 8 against the Crusaders in a move that sets up a head-to-head with Richie McCaw.
Braid completes his merry-go-round in the back row positions by being named as the eighthman, and he will look to oust McCaw who was named in the position for the Crusaders on Thursday.
In other changes for the struggling Auckland franchise, Peter Saili drops to the reserves in favour of Steven Luatua who will play on the blindside flank. Daniel Braid completes the loose trio at openside flank. In the front row Tevita Mailau comes in for the injured Charlie Faumuina.
Meanwhile, the Crusaders have made seven changes to their team that lost to the Rebels in Melbourne last weekend. Notably, Dan Carter returns to his favoured flyhalf slot, with Ryan Crotty filling the gap at inside centre.
Israel Dagg is back at fullback and Andy Ellis returns to scrmhalf. Adam Whitelock will start on the right wing.
Blues - 15 Hadleigh Parkes, 14 David Raikuna, 13 Ma’a Nonu, 12 Michael Hobbs, 11 Benson Stanley, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Luke Braid (c), 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Tevita Mailau, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 James Parsons, 17 Angus Ta’avao, 18 Filo Paulo, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Lachie Munro, 22 Sherwin Stowers.
Crusaders - 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Richie McCaw (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Subs: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Tom Donnelly, 19 Brendon O’Connor, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Tom Marshall.