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    Penalty goals: Taylor,
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  • Fruean, Lowe,
    Penalty goals: Cruden (2),
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  • Super Rugby
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  • 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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06:35Chiefs vs Highlanders
08:40Brumbies vs Western Force
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03:30Crusaders vs Lions
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13:00Stormers vs Chiefs
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06:35Highlanders vs Hurricanes
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Lions
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06:35Crusaders vs Cheetahs
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17:10Sharks vs Chiefs
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06:35Hurricanes vs Melbourne Rebels
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05:30Chiefs vs Cheetahs
06:35Highlanders vs Stormers
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15:05Sharks vs Western Force

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Phil Edwards

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