Source: All Blacks
Despite being overwhelmingly the most successful Investec Super Rugby franchise in history, the Crusaders have tinkered with their winning formula, welcoming veteran trainer Carl Jennings to their setup as they strive to break what has become a curious record title drought.
To say that the seven-time champions are in such a patch is harsh considering their exceptional record, reaching their tenth straight Super Rugby Finals Series in 2011, while their loss to the Reds was their tenth appearance in a season decider.
Yet the Crusaders won their last crown in 2008, and the side now find themselves in a unique position, three years without a title and having been usurped of late by the Bulls and Reds and the most successful teams in recent years.
Last season Carl Jennings was appointed as head strength and conditioning coach at the Crusaders, and the veteran of the fitness and training industry is already making his presence felt.
In the early nineties he formed his own successful nutrional company, creating 'Creatabolin C10' one of the world's first Creatine supplements, before making a career change and joining English league side the Bradford Bulls as strength and conditioning mentor.
Over this time the Bulls won two Super League titles and a Challenge Cup, before he moved to Canberra, where he assisted the Raiders in reaching four NRL Final's Series, while he worked with the Penrith Panthers and the Great Britain League Team, before being appointed to the Crusaders.
With the new taskmaster already cutting into his troops, coach Todd Blackadder said there was a big difference so far as his squad returned to training today.
"I think we're running a far better programme but the results will have to speak for themselves, but early on I'm really pleased, we've got a new trainer so he's been a bit of a different work ethos to the Crusaders this year," he said.
He made a rare promise that there wouldn't be any major punishment on the first day.
"Everyone gets to meet everyone and introduce themselves and basically make sure we start as we left our pre-season training, getting everyone up to speed who hasn't been involved."