Trafalgar Park, Nelson, Friday 5.35pm (AEDT)
Last meeting: Crusaders 20 bt Waratahs 13 in Christchurch
Referee: Chris Pollock (NZ)
This tricky match will confirm whether the Waratahs are the real deal. Beating the Crusaders in such an emotional atmosphere will be difficult, especially as the Waratahs are without their playmaker Berrick Barnes.
This shapes as the match of the round and the game of the season so far. The Waratahs are the form team of the competition, but they face a top-class Crusaders outfit who will be driven by the emotion of the earthquake tragedy. Sonny Bill Williams will make his Super Rugby debut and will aim to test out opposite Tom Carter, with and without the ball. NSW have been very composed and structured with their attack this year, but with Berrick Barnes out, Daniel Halangahu will need to slot in seamlessly. The Waratahs haven't conceded a try this season and will need to be strong in the tackle again if they're to win.
Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Sean Maitland, Robbie Fruean, Sonny Bill Williams, Adam Whitelock, Daniel Carter, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (c), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett .
Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Ben Franks, Chris Jack, Jonathan Poff, Willi Heinz, Matt Berquist, Tom Marshall.
Waratahs: Kurtley Beale, Lachie Turner, Rob Horne, Tom Carter, Drew Mitchell, Daniel Halangahu, Luke Burgess, Ben Mowen, Phil Waugh (c), Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, Al Baxter, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sekope Kepu.
Reserves: Damien Fitzpatrick, Benn Robinson, Sitaleki Timani, Pat McCutcheon, Brendan McKibbin, Ryan Cross, Afa Pakalani.