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Ryan Crotty captains Crusaders against Highlanders
February 6, 2014
Ryan Crotty capped his 2013 with the crucial All Blacks try in Dublin in November © PA Photos

Ryan Crotty will captain the Crusaders in the Super Rugby pre-season trial against the Highlanders at Motueka on Friday.

Crotty, who won five New Zealand caps as a substitute in 2013, will lead a team without regular captain Kieran Read and All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, who started training only last week. Israel Dagg is the only established All Blacks Test player in the starting XV but several current or former internationals are expected to get a run off the bench.

"This is a great chance for some of our newer players and wider training group to get a run against another Super Rugby team," Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said. "There are also some of our most experienced players in the squad though, so we will certainly be looking to be competitive on Friday and give our Tasman supporters something to cheer for."

Crusaders: Israel Dagg; Rob Thompson, Reynold Lee-Lo, Ryan Crotty (captain), Nafi Tuitavake; Tyler Bleyendaal, Andy Ellis; Jordan Taufua, Jed Brown, George Whitelock; Dominic Bird, Luke Romano; Nepo Laulala, Ben Funnell, Tim Perry. Replacements: Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Owen Franks, Joel Everson, Matt Todd, Willi Heinz, Colin Slade, Kieron Fonotia, Sam Whitelock, Tom Taylor, Adam Whitelock, Zac Guildford, Mitchell Drummond, Corey Flynn, Daniel Lienert Brown.


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