Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder has made six changes to their starting XV for Saturday's clash with the Highlanders in Dunedin.
Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder has made six changes to his starting XV, that beat the Waratahs in their last match, for Saturday's clash with the Highlanders in Dunedin.
The biggest surprise is the omission of first-choice number eight Kieran Read. The All Blacks captain has been named amongst the replacements alongside fellow internationals Wyatt Crockett, Luke Romano and Corey Flynn while there's no place in the matchday squad for All Blacks tighthead prop Owen Franks.
If Flynn makes it onto the field he will surpass Reuben Thorne as the most capped Crusader with 130 caps.
Locks Tom Donnelly and Sam Whitelock make up the second row while the backs have a more familiar look with Tom Taylor moving to inside centre and Ryan Crotty wearing the number 13 jersey while Robbie Fruean is also included on the bench.
The Crusaders beat the Highlanders 24-10 when these sides met in Christchurch in Round 10.
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock (c), 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Tom Donnelly, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Luke Romano, 19 Kieran Read, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Robbie Fruean, 22 Adam Whitelock.
Date: Saturday, 29 June
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand). Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand)
TMO: Keith Brown (New Zealand)