Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has called Telusa Veainu into the Crusaders squad and immediately named him in the team to face the Highlanders in a trial match.
Veainu, was a member of the last three winning Canterbury ITM Cup teams and has also been part of the Highlanders wider training squad and has been called into the Crusaders squad on an interim contract as cover for the outside backs.
The Crusaders depth on the wing has been hit as 2012 wing Sean Maitland now plays in Scotland and Zac Guildford has withdrawn from the Crusaders squad for personal reasons. In addition Kurt Baker injured himself playing Sevens in Wellington leaving the Crusaders short of depth out wide.
Blackadder has named second five-eighth Ryan Crotty as captain for the Crusaders second pre-season game which takes place on Friday 8th February at the Whitestone Contracting Stadium in Oamaru at 4.30pm.
Canterbury's Johnny McNicholl has been named on the left wing as he has recovered from a back injury.
The team features a number of All Blacks as Wyatt Crockett, Luke Romano and Israel Dagg return to line up after missing the loss to the Hurricanes in Timaru.
Interestingly Dagg has been named in an unfamiliar position for him at 13 while Tom Marshall starts the trial match at fullback.
Crusaders team to play the Highlanders:
Tom Marshall, Adam Whitelock, Israel Dagg, Ryan Crotty (c), Johnny McNicholl, Tom Taylor, Andy Ellis, Jordan Taufua, Shane Christie, Luke Whitelock, Dominic Bird, Luke Romano, Pa'ea Fa'anunu, Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: Codie Taylor, Adrian Barone, Joe Moody, Jimmy Tupou, Jeremy Su'a, Willi Heinz, Robbie Fruean, Telusa Veainu, Joel Everson, Mitch Graham, Matt Todd, Tyler Blyendaal, Kieran Fonotia, George Whitelock, James Schrader.