The Crusaders will head to Melbourne this week to try and make it three wins from three matches in the pre-season trials when the tackle the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday.
It will be only the second time the Crusaders have faced the newest team in Super Rugby, having also played them in a pre-season game in 2011. The Rebels were the only Australian team that the Crusaders did not play in the regular season last year.
Kieran Read makes his first appearance in the starting fifteen for this season, at No.8 and as captain. He will be deputised by Andy Ellis, who is also making his first start at scrumhalf. Those changes send Luke Whitelock and Willi Heinz to the bench.
Lock Tom Donnelly also comes into the starting fifteen and prop Ben Franks will make his first start alongside brother Owen.
The tightly fought No.10 jersey returns to Tyler Bleyendaal this week, who started there against the Highlanders. Tom Taylor moves out one to play inside centre.
Adam Whitelockwill play in his third different jumper this season with a start at centre, after starting at second five against the Hurricanes last week and on the wing against the Highlanders.
Sean Maitland returns to the wing, with Patrick Osborne moving to the bench.
Crusaders: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Adam Whitelock, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Israel Dagg, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Quentin MacDonald, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacments: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Luke Romano, 19 Ross Kennedy, 20 Willie Heinz, 21 James Schrader, 22 Patrick Osborne, 23 Mitch Scott, 24 Joe Wheeler, 25 Brendon O'Connor, 26 Luke Whitelock.
Date: Saturday, February 18
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 07.35 (08.40 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Oliver Kellett (Australia)
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