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Faingaa, Fruean in face-off

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Jim Morton

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The Breakdown: Crusaders on the move

After an emotional week of rugby, the Reds are set to clash with season favourites the Crusaders, and the Tahs are desperate for a win in Canberra.

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QUEENSLAND defensive missile Anthony Faingaa has the Crusaders' destructive Mr T lookalike Robbie Fruean in his sights in a timely starting return for Sunday's clash of last year's Super Rugby finalists.

Wallabies centre Faingaa hasn't started since the Reds' round one escape act against the Waratahs but must quickly shake off his long injury lay-off when he lines up against Fruean at a sold-out Rugby League Park in Christchurch.

The mohawked Crusaders midfielder is in the best form of his career playing alongside All Blacks maestro Dan Carter and was a two-try hero against the Waratahs in Sydney last weekend.

Tough ask ... Anthony Faingaa will line-up against Robbie Fruean on Sunday night.

Tough ask ... Anthony Faingaa will line-up against Robbie Fruean on Sunday night. Photo: Getty Images

The fast-rushing, low-tackling defence of Faingaa will be key as the Crusaders seek to avenge last year's grand final loss.

''That's his forte,'' said coach Ewen McKenzie, who described his influence as massive. ''And there's the confidence and the talk. You just can't buy that experience in the big moments.''

Sonny Bill Williams's defection to the Chiefs has seen Carter start his season at inside-centre, greatly benefiting 104-kilogram outside-centre Fruean, who has crossed for six tries this season.

"The mohawked Crusaders midfielder is in the best form of his career."

"The mohawked Crusaders midfielder is in the best form of his career." Photo: Hagen Hopkins

''He [Fruean] has been outstanding,'' Faingaa said. ''I've been looking at all his stats … he's made [the fourth] most line breaks in Super Rugby at the moment.

''He runs well, he's big, he's strong. He's everything you want in a centre so it's going to be a tough time but I'll do my best.''

While playmaker Quade Cooper has headed the Reds' long injury-list this year, McKenzie stressed the absence of Faingaa, his twin Saia and their scything tackles couldn't be under-estimated.

''Their grass-cutting tackles have been very important for us and we have missed their consistency in that area,'' he said.

The pair appear on the same team sheet for the first time this year with hooker Saia returning from an ankle problem.

Young guns Jake Schatz and Dom Shipperley were both rewarded for their form this season as McKenzie starts with them ahead of Wallabies Radike Samo and Rod Davies.

AAP

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Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
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ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
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WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
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WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
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LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
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Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
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Team P W L D +/- Pts
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Overall standings
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