Carter and Read back in Crusaders colours
All Blacks heavyweights Dan Carter, Kieran Read and Sam Whitelock will make their Super Rugby preseason debuts for the Crusaders in Thursday night's clash with the Waratahs in Sydney.
Coach Todd Blackadder has been keeping a lot of his gunpowder dry over the first couple of trials but has decided it's time to bring out some of his heavy artillery.
Read takes over the captaincy at No 8 while Whitelock partners fellow All Black Luke Romano in the second row and Carter takes over the playmaker's role at No 10.
Former All Blacks tight forwards Corey Flynn and Tom Donnelly are also set for their first involvement of the summer matches, coming into the mix via the bench.
Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Adam Whitelock, Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Johnny McNicholl, Dan Carter, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (c), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crocket. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Joe Moody, Dominic Bird, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Tom Marshall, Telusa Veianu, Shane Christie, Tom Donnelly, Corey Flynn.