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Super Rugby: Hurricanes v Crusaders match preview
The Hurricanes have turned to Tim Bateman to fill the void left by Conrad Smith for Saturday's Super Rugby match with the Crusaders.
With skipper Smith sidelined with a thumb injury picked up in New Zealand’s Test series win over England, Bateman will come into the Hurricanes XV at outside centre.
Jeremy Thrush will take over the captaincy, while there are also starts for lock Blade Thomson and back-rows Brad Shields and Ardie Saeva.
All Blacks Dan Carter is poised to make his return to action for the Crusaders after he was named on the bench for the clash in Wellington.
Carter has been on a six-month sabbatical since New Zealand’s autumn tour of Europe, however he began he comeback playing club rugby for Southbridge.
Having come through unscathed, Carter has now been included in the match-day squad – with Colin Slade retaining the No 10 jersey.
Coach Todd Blackadder has made six changes to his line-up in total from the last Super Rugby game – the Crusaders had a friendly against England during the international break – with Kieron Fonotia, Nafi Tuitavake, Luke Whitelock, Matt Todd, Corey Flynn and Wyatt Crockett all starting.
Kieran Read and Ben Funnell join Carter on the bench, however Richie McCaw and Israel Dagg are both injured while Nemani Nadolo is representing Fiji.
Hurricanes: 15 Proctor, 14 Jane, 13 Bateman, 12 Leiua, 11 J Savea, 10 Barrett, 9 Perenara, 1 B Franks, 2 Coles, 3 Toomaga-Allen, 4 Thursh (c), 5 Thomson, 6 Shields, 7 A Savea, 8 Vito.
Replacements: 16 Matu'u/Goodes, 17 Eves, 18 Goodes/Edmonds, 19 Broadhurst, 20 Lam, 21 Smylie, 22 Parkes, 23 Marshall.
Crusaders: 15 Taylor, 14 McNicholl, 13 Fonotia, 12 Crotty (c), 11 Tuitavake, 10 Slade, 9 Ellis, 1 Crockett, 2 Flynn, 3 Laulala, 4 Bird, 5 Whitelock, 6 Taufua, 7 Todd, 8 Whitelock.
Replacements: 16 Funnell, 17 Moody, 18 O Franks, 19 Tupou, 20 Read, 21 Heinz, 22 Carter, 23 Thompson.
|Saturday 2nd August|
|09:40||Waratahs vs Crusaders|
|Saturday 26th July|
|Waratahs 26 - 8 Brumbies|
|Crusaders 38 - 6 Sharks|
|Saturday 19th July|
|Sharks 31 - 27 Highlanders|
|Brumbies 32 - 30 Chiefs|
|Saturday 12th July|
|Stormers 10 - 34 Sharks|
|Lions 60 - 25 Cheetahs|
|Reds 3 - 34 Waratahs|
|Crusaders 34 - 8 Highlanders|
|Friday 11th July|
|Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne Rebels|
|Brumbies 47 - 25 Western Force|
|Blues 8 - 11 Chiefs|
|Sunday 6th July|
|Waratahs 44 - 16 Highlanders|
|Saturday 5th July|
|Cheetahs 27 - 20 Sharks|
|Stormers 16 - 0 Bulls|
|Western Force 30 - 20 Reds|
|Crusaders 21 - 13 Blues|
|Friday 4th July|
|Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne Rebels|
|Chiefs 24 - 16 Hurricanes|
|Saturday 28th June|
|Western Force 14 - 40 Blues|
|Waratahs 39 - 8 Brumbies|
|Hurricanes 16 - 9 Crusaders|
|Friday 27th June|
|Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 Reds|
|Highlanders 29 - 25 Chiefs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com