Vodacom Super 14

Crusaders add experience

2009-05-17 18:01
Brad Thorn (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - While the Bulls await the outcome of the two judicial hearings against centre JP Nel and lock Bakkies Botha on Monday and are holding thumbs that star centre Wynand Olivier will be fit for Saturday's Super 14 semifinal clash against the Crusaders, the New Zealanders have added three fit-again players to their squad for the trip to Pretoria.

Utility back Colin Slade, prop Ben Franks and lock Brad Thorn are among the 24-man Crusaders squad that departed for South Africa on Sunday, while prop Bronson Murray of the match-22 that beat the Blues on Saturday has been left at home.

The inclusion of the trio will add considerable experience and quality to the defending champions.

Franks has recovered from foot surgery - and has not played since March 7, which could be a risk in the light of match fitness, especially with the match at altitude.

Thorn didn't play this weekend because of a tight hamstring, but has been recovering well and will be fit for the semi-final. Slade has recovered from an ankle ligament injury.

The Crusaders, who departed for South Africa on Sunday, didn't suffer any major injuries against the Blues.

Crusaders squad:
Wyatt Crockett, Owen Franks, Ben Franks, Jason Macdonald, Daniel Perrin, Brad Thorn, Isaac Ross, Michael Paterson, Ross Filipo, Kieran Read, Thomas Waldrom, Richie McCaw, George Whitelock, Andy Ellis, Kahn Fotuali'i, Stephen Brett, Colin Slade, Hamish Gard, Ryan Crotty, Tim Bateman, Sean Maitland, Leon MacDonald, Jared Payne, Adam Whitelock.


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