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Crusaders

  • Whitelock,
    Penalty goals: Taylor,
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Chiefs

  • Fruean, Lowe,
    Penalty goals: Cruden (2),
    Conversions: Cruden,
  • Super Rugby
  • Overall Group
  • 21st Feb 2014
  • KO 06:35
  • Ground: AMI Stadium, Christchurch

Crusaders v Chiefs Super Rugby preview

Last updated: 19th February 2014  

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Mils Muliaina: Back in the fold for the Chiefs

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Zac Guildford: Has been omitted from the Crusaders side

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Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has axed Clermont-bound winger Zac Guildford for his side's Super Rugby opener against the Chiefs in Christchurch.

Former All Blacks international Guildford is a surprise omission, with New Zealand Sevens player Nafi Tuitavake handed his debut and Rob Thompson named on the bench.

Tuitavake is one of three players set to make his first appearance for the Crusaders, with prop Tim Perry - who played once for the Blues last season - and former Hurricances centre Rey Lee-Lo also included in the starting XV.

Colin Slade, who has returned to the Crusaders after three seasons with the Highlanders, misses out with a calf injury so Tyler Bleyendaal will wear the No 10 jersey.

Defending champions, the Chiefs will be buoyed by two returnees from Japan for the New Zealand Conference encounter.

Mils Muliaina, the former All Blacks full-back, has spent the last two seasons at the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes while Kane Thompson moved to the Canon Eagles after helping the Chiefs to the 2012 Super Rugby title.

However they have been named in a new-look starting XV to face the Crusaders.

Flanker Tevita Kolomatangi, ex-Highlanders prop Jamie Mackintosh and former Crusaders centre Robbie Fruean all make their debuts for the Waikato-based franchise, while Nathan Harris, James Lowe, Matt Symons, Liam Squire and Anton Lienert-Brown have been included on the bench

Crusaders: 15 Dagg, 14 McNicholl, 13 Lee-Lo, 12 Crotty, 11 Tuitavake, 10 Bleyendaal, 9 Ellis, 1 Perry, 2 Flynn, 3 O Franks, 4 S Whitelock, 5 Bird, 6 G Whitelock, 7 McCaw (c), 8 L Whitelock.
Replacements: 16 Funnell, 17 Crockett, 18 Laulala, 19 Romano, 20 Todd, 21 Heinz, 22 Taylor, 23 Thompson

Chiefs: 15 Muliaina, 14 Nanai-Williams, 13 Fruean, 12 Ngatai, 11 Tikoirotuma, 10 Cruden, (c), 9 Pulu, 1 Mackintosh, 2 Marshall, 3 Tameifuna, 4 Fitzgerald, 5 Retallick, 6 Messam, 7 Koloamatangi, 8 Thompson.
Replacements: 16 Harris, 17 Manu, 18 Afeaki, 19 Symons/Squire, 20 Crosswell, 21 Kerr-Barlow, 22 Horrell/Leinert-Brown, 23 Lowe.

Watch the Crusaders take on the Chiefs live on Sky Sports 2 HD on Friday from 6.30am

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Forthcoming Super Rugby Fixtures
TimeFixture
Super Rugby
Friday 13th February
Super Rugby
06:35Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels
08:40Brumbies vs Reds
17:10Lions vs Hurricanes
Saturday 14th February
06:35Blues vs Chiefs
15:05Sharks vs Cheetahs
17:05Bulls vs Stormers
Sunday 15th February
06:05Waratahs vs Western Force
Friday 20th February
06:35Chiefs vs Brumbies
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs
17:10Bulls vs Hurricanes
Saturday 21st February
06:35Highlanders vs Crusaders
08:40Reds vs Western Force
15:05Stormers vs Blues
17:10Sharks vs Lions
Friday 27th February
06:35Highlanders vs Reds
11:00Western Force vs Hurricanes
17:10Cheetahs vs Blues
Saturday 28th February
06:35Chiefs vs Crusaders
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies
15:05Bulls vs Sharks
17:10Lions vs Stormers
Friday 6th March
06:35Chiefs vs Highlanders
08:40Brumbies vs Western Force
Saturday 7th March
06:35Blues vs Lions
08:40Reds vs Waratahs

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Phil Edwards

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