The Crusaders will head to Johannesburg without the services of All Blacks lock Luke Romano, but Kieran Read will travel.
The Crusaders will head to Johannesburg without the services of All Blacks lock Luke Romano, but despite the absence of the bruising lock, the seven-time champions will arrive in South Africa with captain Kieran Read.
Read left the field early against the Hurricanes as a precaution, but early fears of a potential concussion have been put aside and the number eight will likely lead the team against the Lions this weekend during Round Eight.
The Crusaders, who lost to the Canes to slump to their third loss of the 2014 season, play the Lions, Cheetahs and Chiefs in the next three weeks away from home.
It isn't an exaggeration to suggest this is now make or break territory for the red and blacks.
The Lions have not lost at Ellis Park so far this year, with the Stormers, Blues and Reds unable to beat the readmitted team at their daunting stadium, while the Crusaders were not successful in 2007 and 2000 at Johannesburg – although the visitors have won 11 of 14 against the South Africans.
Crusaders touring squad for South Africa:
Israel Dagg, Johnny McNicholl, Nemani Nandolo, Nafi Tuitavake, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Rey Lee-Lo, Kieron Fonotia, Ryan Crotty, Tom Taylor, Colin Slade, Tyler Bleyendaal, Andy Ellis, Willi Heinz, Kieran Read (captain), Matt Todd, Luke Whitelock, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Jordan Taufua, Dominic Bird, Jimmy Tupou, Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Wyatt Crockett, Mike Kainga, Corey Flynn, Ben Funnell