Christchurch based Super Rugby franchise the Crusaders have named their team to play in heir final pre-season hit out this Friday evening before the season proper begins.
Head Coach Scott Robertson has named a strong side to take on the Hurricanes in Waverley, including 11 All Blacks.
Sam Whitelock will kick off his 2017 Captaincy, and he will be assisted by his two vice-captains for the season, Matt Todd and Ryan Crotty.
“We are thrilled to announce Matt Todd and Ryan Crotty as our 2017 vice-captains,” Robertson said.
“They are both natural leaders who make a huge contribution through their intelligent reading of the game. They are stalwarts of the team – Ryan has already notched up over 100 caps and Matt is on track to mark his century this year – and have the respect of their teammates.”
Friday’s clash with the Hurricanes kicks off at 5pm at the Border Rugby Club in Waverley.
The Crusaders will play their 2017 season opener against the Brumbies the following weekend, 7:35pm Saturday 25 February at AMI Stadium.
Crusaders team to play the Hurricanes:
1. Tim Perry , 2. Ben Funnell ,3. Owen Franks ,4. Scott Barrett ,5. Sam Whitelock (c) ,6. Pete Samu ,7. Matt Todd (vc) ,8. Whetu Douglas ,9. Ere Enari ,10. Richie Mo’unga ,11. George Bridge ,12. Ryan Crotty (vc) ,13. Jack Goodhue ,14. Seta Tamanivalu ,15. Israel Dagg
Replacements : Joe Moody, Wyatt Crockett, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, Luke Romano, Quinten Strange, Mitchell Dunshea, Jed Brown, Jordan Taufua, Bryn Hall, Mitchell Drummond, Mitch Hunt, Sione Fifita, David Havili, Sean Wainui, Manasa Mataele, Marty McKenzie