A NUMBER of the Crusaders’ Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks will play for the side when it takes on the Hurricanes in a pre-season clash at Mangatainoka this Saturday.
All four Whitelock brothers have also been named in the Crusaders run-on team for the first time, albeit in a non-first-class fixture.
All Blacks Owen Franks, Sam Whitelock and Israel Dagg will take part in their first pre-season game after missing last week’s hit-out against the Highlanders in Greymouth.
Dagg will run on the left wing, with Tom Marshall to wear the No 15 jersey.
Fellow internationals Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Kieran Read and Andy Ellis are expected to get a run in the second half off the bench.
The inclusion of Sam Whitelock in the second-row and Adam Whitelock, who replaces Ryan Crotty at second five, means it will be the first time they and their brothers, George and Luke, have all been named in the starting XV for the Crusaders.
The brothers last played alongside one another in 2003, when they were at Feilding High School.
The other change to the side sees Tom Taylor replace Tyler Bleyendaal at first five, with the latter dropping to the bench.
Prop Wyatt Crockett will once again captain the team.
The Hurricanes named their team earlier today.
The game, to be played on Neil Symonds' farm next to the Tui Brewery, is a sell out with 8000 tickets sold.
Crusaders: Tom Marshall, Patrick Osborne, Robbie Fruean, Adam Whitelock, Israel Dagg, Tom Taylor, Willi Heinz; Luke Whitelock, Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Ross Kennedy, Owen Franks, Quentin MacDonald, Wyatt Crockett (c)
Reserves: Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Tom Donnelly, Luke Romano, Joe Wheeler, Brendon O'Connor, Kieran Read, Ben Funnell, Andy Ellis, Tyler Bleyendaal, Sean Maitland, Mitchell Scott, James Schrader.
Hurricanes: Cory Jane, Richard Buckman, Alapati Leiua, Charlie Ngatai, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Chris Smylie, Victor Vito (c), Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, Jason Eaton, Mark Reddish, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles, Tristan Moran
Reserves: David Hall, Ben May, Reggie Goodes, Michael Bent, Motu Matu'u, James Broadhurst, Jeremy Thrush, Scott Fuglistaller, Mike Coman, TJ Perenara, Chris Eaton, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Jayden Hayward, Andre Taylor
With the series level, expect both teams to put it all on the line as they seek to win the deciding test in Sydney on Saturday night.