Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder wasted no time in bringing back All Black captain Richie McCaw for his team’s Super Rugby Round 7 encounter with the Vodacom Bulls.
The 7-time champion Crusaders start their South African tour against the 3-time champion Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.
McCaw, who was rested last week as the Crusaders demolished the Cheetahs 57 / 14, replaces Matt Todd at openside flank – with the latter dropping down to the replacement bench.
In all Blackadder made 5 changes to his starting line-up for the trip to Loftus Versfeld.
Blackadder has made 2 rotations in the front row, with prop Joe Moody and hooker Ben Funnell coming in for All Black Wyatt Crockett and Codie Taylor respectively. Crockett and Taylor both drop to the bench.
Dan Carter, who last week started at inside centre, returns to his more customary role in the No 10 jersey.
Tom Taylor moves out one position to No 12 and Colin Slade will play off the bench.
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Kieron Fonotia, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (Captain), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Colin Slade, 23 David Havilli.
Date: Saturday 28 March
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-Off: 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT, Sunday 06:10 NZ Time)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Stephan Geldenhuys (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)