Unbeaten Crusaders are resting several players in this weekend’s Vodacom Super 14 action against the Cheetahs.
Crusaders coach Robbie Deans has mostly opted for this best run-on XV this season, but he believes the squad depth is sufficient to see off the challenge of Rassie Erasmus’s tourists, who visit Christchurch on the back of a 50 pointer against the Brumbies.
Hooker Corey Flynn and lock Ross Filipo are rested, so too scrumhalf Andrew Ellis, while in the backs Aaron Mauger and Caleb Ralph drop to the bench as insurance for anything going wrong.
Star All Blacks Richie McCaw and Dan Carter will start, which means Deans has kept the axis of the side as is.
CRUSADERS: 15 Leon MacDonald, 14 Rico Gear, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Cameron McIntyre, 11 Scott Hamilton, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Kevin Senio; 8 Mose Tuiali’i, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Reuben Thorne, 5 Brad Mika, 4 Chris Jack, 3 Campbell Johnstone, 2 Tone Kopelani, 1 Greg Somerville. Reserves: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Kevin O’Neill, 19 Johnny Leo’o, 20 Andrew Ellis, 21 Aaron Mauger, 22 Caleb Ralph.