Blues v Hurricanes
Last meeting: Crusaders 38-3 in Dunedin, round 11, 2007
With a 12-point lead over their closest rivals and already assured of a home semi-final, the Crusaders' biggest danger could be complacency. Coach Robbie Deans has rung the changes in putting close to his full-strength team on the park for the South Island showdown. Five-eighth Daniel Carter makes his starting return from injury after a brilliant cameo against the Reds on Saturday. Fellow All Blacks Corey Flynn, Ali Williams and Andy Ellis are also back starting as the six-time champions warm up for the playoffs. The gritty Highlanders are coming off a 40-15 thumping by the Blues and will do well to keep the scoreline respectable against their all-conquering neighbours.
Crusaders: Leon MacDonald, Kade Poki, Caleb Ralph, Stephen Brett, Sean Maitland, Daniel Carter, Andrew Ellis, Mose Tuiali'i, Richard McCaw (captain), Reuben Thorne, Ali Williams, Brad Thorn, Greg Somerville, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks. Reserves: Ti'i Paulo, Wyatt Crockett, Kieran Read, Nasi Manu, Kahn Fotuali'i, Tim Bateman, Casey Laulala
Highlanders: to be named