Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has named his team to play the Cheetahs this weekend and has stuck with largely the same 23 players who beat the Lions last week.

The only player who was not involved last week is Kieran Read, who returns to captain the side having recovered from a head knock two weeks ago.  He replaces Luke Whitelock who has returned to New Zealand with a knee injury.

There are also some rotations between starting positions and the bench – Corey Flynn will start at hooker this weekend with Ben Funnell moving to the reserves; Nepo Laulala comes into the tighthead prop position while Owen Franks takes a spot on the bench; and halfbacks Willi Heinz and Andy Ellis have swapped so that Heinz wears number 9 this week.

The Crusaders will face the Cheetahs at Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein at 3:05am Sunday (NZ time).

Crusaders team to play the Cheetahs:

  1. Wyatt Crockett
  2. Corey Flynn
  3. Nepo Laulala
  4. Dominic Bird
  5. Samuel Whitelock
  6. George Whitelock
  7. Matt Todd
  8. Kieran Read (C)
  9. Willi Heinz
  10. Colin Slade
  11. Nemani Nadolo
  12. Ryan Crotty (VC)
  13. Kieron Fonotia
  14. Johnny McNicholl
  15. Israel Dagg


  1. Ben Funnell
  2. Daniel Lienert-Brown
  3. Owen Franks
  4. Jimmy Tupou
  5. Jordan Taufua
  6. Andy Ellis
  7. Tyler Bleyendaal
  8. Tom Taylor