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McCaw to come off bench against Reds

Published: 11:31AM Friday May 04, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will continue to ease his way into top level rugby from the bench when the Crusaders host the Queensland Reds in Christchurch on Sunday afternoon.

McCaw played 20 minutes off the bench against the Waratahs last weekend as he times his return from his infamous foot injury perfectly to be fit and firing when the Irish arrive in New Zealand next month.

Daniel Carter will also continue playing at second five-eighth outside Tom Taylor and will yet again let his understudy kick goals with his groin still not 100%.

The only change to the team that beat the Waratahs is the possible inclusion of Sean Maitland, who has been recovering from a high ankle injury.

Maitland's inclusion on the wing is subject to his full participation in training today.

Although the line-up looks much the same as last week's, the jerseys will be different. This week the Crusaders are wearing specially-made St John jerseys, which will then be signed by the players and auctioned on TradeMe.

Funds raised will go towards funding St John's support of community rugby in the Crusaders franchise area. The jerseys are open for bidding on TradeMe now (listed under sports/rugby/apparel/jerseys) and the auction will run until next Thursday night.

The Crusaders will play in front of a sold-out Rugby League Park as they continue their midseason push up the table.

Last year's finalists are sixth on the overall table with 33 competition points but with games against the lowly Rebels (away) and Blues (home) over the next two weeks, they look set to challenge the Chiefs and Highlanders for a New Zealand Conference home playoff.

Crusaders team: 15-Israel Dagg, 14-Sean Maitland/Adam Whitelock, 13-Robbie Fruean, 12-Dan Carter, 11-Zac Guildford, 10-Tom Taylor, 9-Andy Ellis, 8-Kieran Read, 7-Matt Todd, 6-George Whitelock, 5-Luke Romano, 4-Tom Donnelly, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Corey Flynn, 1-Ben Franks.
Reserves: Tom Marshall, Ryan Crotty, Willi Heinz, Richie McCaw, Samuel Whitelock, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Funnell.

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