The Crusaders have revealed that they will play with a more expansive style in 2013 as they look to win their eighth Super Rugby title.
The Crusaders are Super Rugby’s most successful Super Rugby team but they have not won a title since 2008.
The seven time Super Rugby champions conducted an exhaustive off-season review which decided that they need to change from a traditional percentage approach.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder says that no stone was left unturned after they were eliminated in the Semi-finals by the Chiefs.
2012 was the Crusaders fourth season in a row that they have reached the playoffs or the final but not been able to go all the way.
“What you’re going to see this year is a total rebranding of the way the Crusaders are going to play,” Blackadder told Newswire.
“We’ve looked at where we’ve been in the past, we’ve looked at best practice from our competitors and we’re going to raise the bar.”
“You’re going to see an attacking style of football this year, we’re going to attack.”
The 2013 Crusaders will be without All Black captain Richie McCaw who is on sabbatical but their pack still looks more than capable of holding its own with their new game plan.
McCaw’s fellow All Black great Dan Carter is expected to play a major role in their new attacking style in which fullback Israel Dagg could be heavily involved.
There have also been rumours coming out of the Crusaders about an early return for winger Zac Guildford who stood down to give him time to sort out his personal problems.
In McCaw’s absence All Black No.8 Kieran Read will leave the Crusaders and he admitted that their their title “drought” stung everyone at the franchise into action.
“The organisation wants to be successful and that’s what we measure ourselves on, it’s championships,” he said.
The Crusaders have a bye this weekend and open their Super Rugby campaign next weekend against the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland.