Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder has named Dan Carter and Kieran Read in his matchday 23 for Saturday's clash with the Hurricanes.
Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder has named All Blacks stalwarts Dan Carter and Kieran Read in his matchday 23 for Saturday's clash with the Hurricanes in Wellington.
Eight players have returned from the All Blacks to make the team, including prop Wyatt Crockett who will pack down with Corey Flynn and Nepo Laulala in the front row. Owen Franks will provide front row cover alongside Joe Moody and Ben Funnell on the bench.
Locks Dom Bird and Sam Whitelock will pair up in the second row, and Matt Todd will wear the number seven jersey with Richie McCaw ruled out with an injured rib. Jordan Taufua and Luke Whitelock join him in the loose forwards with Read and Jimmy Tupou named in the reserves.
Colin Slade returns at first five and Carter will have the opportunity to make an impact off the bench in his first game for the Crusaders this season.
With Nemani Nadolo still representing Fiji this week, Nafi Tuitavake and Johnny McNicholl take the two wings. They are joined by Ryan Crotty and Kieron Fonotia in the midfield, and Tom Taylor takes the full-back spot while Israel Dagg recovers from injury.
Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty (c), 11 Nafi Tuitavake, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Kieran Read, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Dan Carter, 23 Rob Thompson.
Date: Saturday, June 28
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 local (07.35 GMT, 08.35 BST)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
Television match official: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)