The Blues continue their road trip and this time around they’re at least in their own country. That said, AMI Stadium in Christchurch may just prove somewhat less hospitable than Brisbane…For the home team, Magic Richie is back, in the somewhat unfamiliar role of blindside flank. Most importantly, though, he has the captain’s armband back and that should be enough to ensure victory for the home team.
The Blues are having a funny season though and despite never really looking the business, are still 2/3 having won twice away from home. This might just be a lot closer than we think!
Kick-off is at 08h35 SA time
Crusaders: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read, 7 George Whitelock, 6 Richie McCaw (captain), 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ti’i Paulo, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Peter Borlase, 18 Isaac Ross, 19 Jonathan Poff, 20 Kahn Fotuali’i, 21 Adam Whitelock, 22 Colin Slade.
Blues: 15 Paul Williams, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Viliami Ma’afu, 7 Serge Lilo, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Anthony Boric, 4 Kurtis Haiu, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (captain), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Charlie Faumuina, 18 Filo Paulo, 19 Tom Chamberlain, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22 George Pisi.
Referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Josh Noonan (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)