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Crusaders get All Blacks boost for Highlanders clash

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Crusaders unleash 10 All Blacks in starting side to face Highlanders

The Crusaders have named their strongest possible side for their Super Rugby quarter-final with the Highlanders in Christchurch on Saturday.

No fewer than 10 All Blacks make up the Crusaders' starting side, while two more will start on the bench as the Christchurch side seek their first title since 2008.

An all international tight-five will take the field, with the front row of Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Owen Franks complemented by the locking duo of Scott Barrett and captain Sam Whitelock.

Kieran Read and Matt Todd are two more internationals in the loose forwards, while flanker Jordan Taufua is the only forward not to have represented the All Blacks.

All Blacks Wyatt Crockett and Luke Romano have been named on the bench.

In the backs, Ryan Crotty, Israel Dagg and Seta Tamanivalu boast international experience, while young centre Jack Goodhue was part of the All Blacks' camp as they prepared for the British and Irish Lions.

Reserve first-five Mitchell Hunt has been named on the bench, after his drop-goal heroics saw the Crusaders snatch a 25-22 win the last time these two sides met.

Crusaders: 15. David Havili, 14. Israel Dagg, 13. Jack Goodhue, 12. Ryan Crotty, 11. Seta Tamanivalu, 10. Richie Mo'unga, 9. Bryn Hall, 8. Kieran Read, 7. Matt Todd, 6. Jordan Taufua, 5. Sam Whitelock (c), 4. Scott Barrett, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Codie Taylor, 1. Joe Moody.

Reserves: 16. Ben Funnell, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Mike Alaalatoa, 19. Luke Romano, 20. Pete Samu, 21. Mitchell Drummond, 22. Mitchell Hunt, 23. George Bridge.

Matt Todd of the Crusaders is tackled by Phil Burleigh of the Highlanders with Ryan Crotty in support during the Investec Super Rugby game between Crusaders v Highlanders at AMI Stadium, Christchurch. 12 July 2014 Photo: Joseph Johnson/www.photosport.co.nz
Matt Todd of the Crusaders is tackled by Phil Burleigh of the Highlanders with Ryan Crotty in support during a Super Rugby game between Crusaders and the Highlanders at AMI Stadium, Christchurch. Source: Photosport


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