The return of Andy Ellis at scrumhalf is the only change to the Crusaders starting XV for their Super 14 crunch match against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
Ellis sat out last Saturday’s 23-all draw with the Western Force due to sore ribs, suffered in the Crusaders’ 0-6 loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin the week before.
His replacement Kahn Fotuali’i has been named on the reserves bench.
The only other change is on the bench, where lock Michael Paterson comes in for Ross Filipo. Isaac Ross keeps his place in the second row alongside Brad Thorn after impressing against the Force last week.
Injured wing Kade Poki (ankle) and centre Casey Laulala (shoulder) are on the comeback trail, but were not considered fit enough to make the trip.
They will be monitored week to week as to their availability for future games.
Wing Jared Payne (ankle) is still some weeks away.
The Crusaders are still hopeful that skipper Richie McCaw (knee) will make the three-match trip to South Africa (the team departs on Good Friday, April 10).
Prop Ben Franks is still about five weeks away from returning to the field after having surgery on a stress fracture in his foot this week.
Wing Sean Maitland is on his way back from a hamstring injury and will play 40 minutes for his Linwood club on Saturday.
Crusaders: 15 Leon MacDonald, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Colin Slade, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Andrew Ellis, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 George Whitelock, 6 Kieran Read (captain), 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Bronson Murray, 2 Jason Macdonald, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Daniel Perrin, 17 Owen Franks, 18 Michael Paterson, 19 Nasi Manu, 20 Kahn Fotuali’i, 21 Hamish Gard, 22 Blair Cook.
Date: Saturday, March 21
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.40 (08.40 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Touch judges: James Leckie (Australia), Andrew Lees (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)