RICHARD FERGUSON updated keo.co.za followers on the latest Super Rugby news from New Zealand.
Blackadder shuffles leaders
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has rejigged the leadership group within the team ahead of the 2013 Super Rugby season.
The absence of regular captain Richie McCaw has left Kieran Read in charge until McCaw return sometime in July.
Dan Carter has been relieved of his vice-captaincy duties to focus only on his own game, with George Whitelock and Ryan Crotty appointed dual vice-captains.
The removal of the vice-captaincy comes as somewhat of a relief to Carter, who is already the vice-captain of the All Blacks, and will soon bear even more responsibility as his wife Honor is expecting their first child.
Furthermore, both Whitelock and Crotty are unlikely to feature in the All Blacks June International window, which allows these players to play every week without much rotation and get the full three week break in June.
Kirwan building something big
John Kirwan, the new Blues head coach, wants to build a Blues team similar to the Blues team of the nineties, a team with massive players who are as strong as they are skilled.
Kirwan and his team of coaches, which includes a certain Graham Henry, has laid down the challenge to their players, asking them to play for each other, never give up and to build a legacy from within the current crop of players.
The Blues were preseason favourites last year, having built a big name squad, but failed to click and was cropping up the log at the mid-point of the season. With a new coach and new support staff, a different approach and some new faces, the Blues will be hoping to get off to a better start this year.