Sam Whitelock

Crusaders name Sam Whitelock in team for SRP final

Whitelock was seemingly in doubt for this weekend’s decider, with New Zealand coach Ian Foster saying the All Blacks didn’t “expect him to play based on the medical data we’ve got.”

But the departing lock has been named for his 178th and final game in Crusaders colours. Whitelock will pack down in the second row alongside captain Scott Barrett.

The Crusaders have named an unchanged front row of Tamaiti Williams, Codie Taylor and Oliver Jager, while Barrett and Whitelock complete the rest of the tight five.

Whitelock confirms move to France

The veteran Crusader and All Black has taken up a two-year deal with Section Pau in the South of France, where he will link up with younger brother Luke who joined the Top 14 club in 2019.

"Hannah, the kids and myself are going to head to France to play with my little brother Luke," Whitelock said.

"I've had the privilege of playing with family for Canterbury, the Crusaders and the All Blacks at different stages and this opportunity was too good to pass up."

Whitelock debuted for Canterbury in 2008 and the Crusaders in 2010.

Scott Barrett and Sam Whitelock set to return for Crusaders

All Blacks Barrett and Whitelock have both been named to return this week, and will pack down alongside each other in the second row.

Barrett will captain the side in his first Super Rugby Pacific appearance since the win over the Reds in Brisbane last month, while Whitelock returns to competitive rugby following a lengthy stint on the sidelines.

Whitelock injured his hand during the thrilling 34-28 win over the Blues at Eden Park in round three, but has been included as one of seven changes to the starting XV.

Whitelock, Reece injuries bring Razor back down to earth at Crusaders

Whitelock’s injury, suffered in the Crusaders’ thrilling 34-28 victory over the Blues at Eden Park at the weekend, will rule him out for several weeks, starting with his side’s home match against the unbeaten Brumbies on Friday night.

Reece limped from the Eden Park pitch with what was initially thought to be an ankle problem but has now been confirmed as a potentially long-term knee injury.

All Blacks lock to stay at home

The All Blacks lock was supposed to fly to Brisbane on Friday to start two weeks in hard quarantine, after remaining behind in New Zealand for the birth of his third child.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) was only granted an exemption for Whitelock to quarantine in Queensland late on Friday, with his flight delayed until Tuesday.

NZR believe the timing of Whitelock's arrival would not give him enough time after two week's hard quarantine to safely prepare to play against South Africa on October 2.

Sam Whitelock back for the Crusaders

Whitelock had planned to skip Super Rugby this year while enjoying a playing stint in Japan but the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the 31-year-old lock home to New Zealand.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said Whitelock had been given the green light to play in the hastily arranged 'Aotearoa' competition, which will see the country's five Super Rugby teams play each other over 10 weeks from mid-June.

Super Rugby was suspended after seven rounds in March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak and may not be able to resume in 2020 due to travel curbs and border controls.

Sam Whitelock staying with New Zealand Rugby

Under the terms of the deal Whitelock will take a break from New Zealand rugby at the end of this year to take up a short-term contract with Japanese club Panasonic. He will miss the 2020 Super Rugby season and return to New Zealand at the end of the Japanese Top 14 season in May 2020.

The re-signing of the two-time Rugby World Cup champion adds him to a core group of players who have now committed to New Zealand Rugby.

Sam Whitelock to miss Blues game

Vice-captain Crotty will link with Jack Goodhue in the midfield.

The Crusaders have made six changes and one positional switch from the side that beat the Waratahs last week.

In the front row, Tim Perry makes his return from a hamstring injury and will start at loosehead prop. All Black Owen Franks also returns to the starting side this week, and Mike Alaalatoa moves to the reserves.

Whitelock and Crotty back for Crusaders

Coach Scott Robertson has made five changes to the starting line-up from the side that lost to the Highlanders in Dunedin last Saturday night.

Both Whitelock and Crotty suffered head knocks in the Crusaders loss to the Hurricanes in Wellington two weeks ago and missed the Highlanders match.

Prop Tim Perry returns to start pushing Wyatt Crockett to the bench.

Flanker Billy Harmon will earn his second start replacing All Black Matt Todd, who took a knock to the ribs and will be rested.

Whitelock up for Boks battle

Saturday's test against the Springboks at Albany's QBE Stadium will be Whitelock's 15th appearance against the South Africans (and 91st test in all). You get the impression he could play them all back in his head. He has been on the winning side in 12 of them.

"It's one of those awesome test matches you hope you can be part of," said the 30 year-old after Tuesday's training hitout at Alexandra Park. "If you go back through history between South Africa and New Zealand, those are the games people talk about 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. No doubt this one will be the same.