Slade pushes Dagg to the bench
Colin Slade will start at fullback ahead of Israel Dagg in one of four changes to the Crusaders team to face the Blues at Eden Park on Friday.
Kieran Read returns for his first start of the season to play at No.8 and captain the side. Richie McCaw and George Whitelock are the starting openside and blindside flankers, and Matt Todd will again provide support from the bench.
Tom Taylor, who played the second half against the Chiefs last week, starts at flyhalf this week with Tyler Bleyendaal falling out of the match-day squad altogether.
Slade has recovered from his bruised calf to start at fullback, with Dagg ready to make an impact off the bench.
Rob Thompson will be the 175th player to make his Crusaders debut when he takes the wing, whilst Nafi Tuitavake will make just his second start on the other wing.
Crusaders: 15 Colin Slade, 14 Rob Thompson, 13 Reynold Lee-Lo, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nafi Tuitavake, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Tim Perry.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Adam Whitelock, 23 Israel Dagg.
Date: Friday, February 28
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)