The Crusaders warmed up for their pre-season match against the Hurricanes in Timaru this weekend by training in the scorching North Canterbury heat.
In front of keen school kids and parents, the seven-time champions trained hard despite the mercury reaching the high 20s.
All Black first-five Dan Carter was the most popular among the locals, although halfback Andy Ellis was also popular among signature hunters.
The Crusaders' match against Hurricanes is their first of the pre-season and their opening Super Rugby match isn't until March 1, against the Blues in Auckland.
The season proper starts a week before that, though the Crusaders, who have made the competition's playoffs for the last 11 seasons, have a bye in week one.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Should South African teams be ditched from Super Rugby?Related story: Andrew Mehrtens: Let's ditch South Africa