Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, Saturday 5.35pm (AEDT) Last meeting: Round 10 2011 - Highlanders 26 bt Crusaders 18 at Trafalgar Park Head-to-head: Played 20 Highlanders 7 Crusaders 13 In Dunedin: Played 9 Highlanders 4Crusaders 5 Referee: Jaco Peyper (RSA)
Greg Growden writes: It’s pretty grim in Dunedin with the local Otago Rugby Union in financial strife, but the Highlanders have provided some relief by starting the season well. But the Crusaders will be tougher than the Chiefs, and the return of dark clouds is predicted.
AAP writes: After upsetting the Chiefs last week, the Highlanders will be aiming to add a second big scalp to their collection when they take on the Crusaders. But it's far from happy times at the Highlanders, who can only watch on helplessly as the cash-strapped Otago Rugby Football Union edge closer to liquidation. Even though the Highlanders are somewhat safe from the turmoil, the drama no doubt has shaken the Super Rugby franchise. Crusaders centre Robbie Fruean believes the situation will steel the Highlanders, but it's more likely to have an opposite effect. All Black winger Zac Guildford will return via the Crusaders bench.
Crusaders: Tom Marshall, Sean Maitland, Robbie Fruean, Adam Whitelock, Israel Dagg, Tyler Bleyendaal, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (capt), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Samuel Whitelock, Tom Donnelly, Ben Franks, Quentin MacDonald, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Corey Flynn, Owen Franks, Luke Romano, Luke Whitelock, Willie Heinz, Patrick Osborne, Zac Guildford.