The Crusaders have brought back some All Blacks firepower as they look to topple Super Rugby’s only unbeaten side, the Sharks, in Durban.
No.8 Kieran Read, prop Joe Moody, hooker Codie Taylor and halfback Andy Ellis come back into the starting side for the match on Sunday morning (AEDT).
The quartet sat out the 57-24 win over the struggling Southern Kings in Christchurch last weekend.
Test midfielder Ryan Crotty will start at inside centre having come off the bench against the Kings in his first appearance of the season.
Crotty’s inclusion means a rejig to the backline, with David Havili moving from midfield to fullback and Ben Volavola dropping to the bench.
There is a sixth personnel change in the run-on side, Scott Barrett coming in at lock for All Black Luke Romano.
Romano will be used off the bench, where coach Todd Blackadder has opted for six-two split between forwards and backs.
“We’ve gone for what we think is a really strong team that will give us every chance,” he said.
“We see the Sharks as a really physical and confrontational team up-front. We’ve probably selected our team based on that and we’ve got a strong physical bench.”
Crusaders: David Havili, Johnny McNicholl, Kieron Fonotia, Ryan Crotty, Nemani Nadolo, Richie Mo’unga, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (capt), Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody.
Reserves: Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett, Mike Alaalatoa, Luke Romano, Jimmy Tupou, Tim Boys, Mitchell Drummond, Ben Volavola.