Robbie Fruean is set to win his 50th Super Rugby cap after being included in the Crusaders starting XV for Friday’s match against the Blues at Eden Park.
The outside centre joined the Crusaders in 2009 after making his debut for the Hurricanes and has scored over 65 points for the Christchurch side to date.
The forward pack for the Crusaders’ season opener has an established look about it, with Wyatt Crockett, Corey Flynn, Owen Franks, Luke Romano and Sam Whitelock making up the tight five. The back row consists of George Whitelock, Matt Todd and captain Kieran Read.
In the backs, Tom Taylor will take the field at fullback with Israel Dagg moving to the left wing and Adam Whitelock completing the back three.
Andy Ellis and Dan Carter form the halfback pairing, while Ryan Crotty partners Fruean in midfield.
Joe Moody and Dominic Bird have the opportunity to make their first appearance for the Crusaders if they are called upon from the bench.
Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Israel Dagg, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Dominic Bird, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Tom Marshall.
Date: Friday, March 1
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.30 (8.30 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jonathon White (New Zealand), Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The Barbarians are one of the top invitational rugby sides with a long history and classic rugby jersey.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Lions get ready for their matches with this green training jersey. It's what the players wear. Get in the Gear!
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The Lions are ready to get their Australia tour underway. They arrive in Perth on Monday.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.