McCaw skippers Saders

Richie McCaw will lead the Crusaders and start his first game of the season this Saturday.

After making his return from injury and featuring on the bench in the last two games, McCaw is finally ready to start. He replaces Matt Todd at openside flank and relieves Kieran Read of the captaincy.

Read has been dropped to the bench as coach Todd Blackadder looks to give the All Blacks No 8 a bit of a break. He will be replaced by Luke Whitelock.

Prop Wyatt Crockett and scrumhalf Willie Heinz have also been selected to start against the Rebels, as has fullback Tom Marshall.

Crusaders – 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Subs: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Tom Donnelly, 19 Kieran Read, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Ryan Crotty, 22 Israel Dagg.