Rugby: Israel Dagg to start on the wing

Israel Dagg will start on the wing against the Blues. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Israel Dagg will start on the wing against the Blues. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg will play on the wing for the Crusaders' opening Super 15 game against the Blues at Eden Park on Friday.

With Zac Guildford taking a self-imposed break from the game after a recent alcohol-related incident, Dagg will take his spot on the wing, with Tom Taylor starting at fullback.

The forward pack has an established look about it, with All Blacks Wyatt Crockett, Corey Flynn, Owen Franks, Luke Romano and Sam Whitelock making up the tight five.

Dan Carter will start at first five-eighths, linking up with halfback Andrew Ellis for a eighth season together at the franchise.

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, who will be playing his 50th game for the Crusaders. The centre, who has scored 13 tries, joined the Crusaders in 2009 after making his debut in Super Rugby for the Hurricanes.

The team will be captained by experienced Crusader and All Black Kieran Read in the absence of Richie McCaw, who is taking a sabbatical.

Crusaders team to play the Blues at Eden Park on Friday (7.35pm): Tom Taylor, Adam Whitelock, Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Israel Dagg, Dan Carter, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (c), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Samuel Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Dominic Bird, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tyler Bleyendaal, Tom Marshall.