Western Force v Crusaders - Super Rugby match preview

Last Updated: 13/04/13 3:06pm

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The Crusaders have made four changes to the starting XV for Saturday's trip to the Western Force.

Hooker Corey Flynn returns to make his 250th first class rugby appearance, with Ben Funnell dropping to the bench.

Lock Dominic Bird and flanker Shane Christie, who will be making his first appearance for the Crusaders in the No 7 jersey, also come into the pack, while Israel Dagg is recalled at full-back.

Dagg's inclusion sees Tom Marshall switch to the wing and Zac Guildford named among the replacements.

Western Force have handed Sam Norton-Knight the No 10 shirt at nib Stadium in Perth.

Norton-Knight, who wore the Wallabies ten jersey in 2007, will make his starting debut as one of seven new faces.

Junior Rasolea, Jayden Hayward, Ed Stubbs, Pek Cowan, Richard Brown, Sam Wykes has been rewarded for his form following his return from a knee reconstruction last season and will replace the injured Hugh McMeniman (shoulder) in the second-row.

Lock or flanker Rory Walton is in line to make his Super Rugby debut via the bench on Saturday. Walton, who represented Wanneroo in the weekend's Pindan Premier Grade season opener, is joined on the reserves list by fellow forwards Ben Whittaker, Tetera Faulkner and Chris Alcock. Mick Snowden, Sias Ebersohn and Patrick Dellit will provide coverage for the Force backline.

Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Alfie Mafi, 13 Junior Rasolea, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Ed Stubbs, 10 Sam Norton-Knight, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Richard Brown, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Ben McCalman, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Heath Tessmann, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Rory Walton, 19 Chris Alcock, 20 Mick Snowden, 21 Sias Ebersohn.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Tom Marshall, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Shane Christie, 6 George Whitelock (c), 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Tom Donnelly, 19 Jordan Taufua, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Telusa Veainu, 22 Zac Guildford.

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