All Black trio back for Crusaders

Daniel Carter heads a trio of All Blacks recalled to the Crusaders' side for the visit of Western Force to Jade Stadium on Saturday. [more]

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Daniel Carter heads a trio of All Blacks recalled to the Crusaders’ side for the visit of Western Force to Jade Stadium on Saturday.

Carter has recovered from the neck injury that required a late withdrawal from the win over the NSW Waratahs in Sydney.

He replaces Stephen Brett at fly-half, while veteran utility back Caleb Ralph and young scrum-half Andrew Ellis also return.

Michael Paterson is promoted from the bench to the second row to replace the injured Chris Jack.

Crusaders coach Robbie Deans said: "While we’ve had to make a few changes, we’ve still been able to enjoy a fair bit of continuity, with all but Dan Carter having been involved in the match day 22 last week.

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"And he was involved in most of the preparation for that match anyway, until we had to pull him out through injury, so we are benefiting from a bit of consistency in terms of having the core of the group involved.

"What the changes simply illustrate is the competition we have for places each week, and that’s not a bad situation to be in."
F
ormer New Zealand coach John Mitchell leads the Force on their first trip to Christchurch, having drawn 23-23 with the champions in Perth last year.

Squad: Leon MacDonald, Rico Gear, Casey Laulala, Aaron Mauger, Caleb Ralph, Daniel Carter, Andrew Ellis; Wyatt Crockett, Corey Flynn, Campbell Johnstone, Ross Filipo, Michael Paterson, Reuben Thorne, Richard McCaw (captain), Mose Tuiali’i.

Reserves: Ti’i Paulo, Ben Franks, Kieran Read, Johnny Leo’o, Kevin Senio, Stephen Brett, Scott Hamilton.

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