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Crusaders name first team of the season

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crusaders.co.nz and James Mortimer     27 Feb 2013     Getty Images

The game takes place this Friday 1st March at Eden Park. Kick off is at 7.30pm.

The team features the Crusaders star players to take on the Blues in what should be an exciting encounter. The Crusaders Forward Pack has an established look about it, with Crockett, Flynn, Franks, Romano and Whitelock making up the tight five. Whilst in the backs Tom Taylor will take the field in fullback position with Israel Dagg moving to the left wing.

Joe Moody and Dominic Bird have the opportunity to make their first appearance for Crusaders if called upon from the bench.

The game will mark a milestone for Robbie Fruean appearing in his 50th game for the Crusaders. The outside centre joined the Crusaders in 2009 after making his debut in super rugby for the Hurricanes. To date he has scored over 65 points for side.

The team will be captained by experienced Crusader and All Black Kieran Read.

Crusaders: Tom Taylor, Adam Whitelock, Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Israel Dagg, Dan Carter, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (c), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Dominic Bird, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tyler Bleyendaal, Tom Marshall.