Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has named a starting XV that includes the return of three New Zealand internationals, including All Blacks captain Kieran Read.
Read, alongside Scott Barrett and Richie Mo’unga, will line up against the Hurricanes, which means Quinten Strange and Brett Cameron shift to the reserves.
The return of Read sees Whetu Douglas move to the blindside, and Jordan Taufua take Tom Sanders’ spot on the bench, after Sanders dislocated his shoulder against the Waratahs last weekend.
The only other changes to the match-day 23 see Mitchell Drummond return to provide cover for Bryn Hall at half-back and Oliver Jager set to play his first Super Rugby match of 2019.
The Hurricanes have played the Crusaders 36 times in Super rugby since 1996 and the Hurricanes have won 12 matches, drawn three matches and lost 21 times.
Those 12 Super rugby victories give the Hurricanes a record of winning 33% of their matches against the Crusaders regardless of the venue.
This weekend the match will be played in Wellington where the teams have met 13 times. In those 15 matches the Hurricanes have won 7, drawn 2 and lost 4.
Those 7 wins give the Hurricanes a record of winning 53% of their home matches against the Crusaders. The average score when the Hurricanes play the Crusaders in Wellington is : Hurricanes 22 Crusaders 23.
The Hurricanes have won the last five Super rugby matches in Wellington against the Crusaders.
The last three matches between the sides were all played in Christchurch and they were all won by the Crusaders.
These teams played each other in round 2 this year and the Crusaders won 38-22 in Christchurch.
Average score: Hurricanes 20 Crusaders 26
Last five results
Sat, 23 Feb 2019 Crusaders 38 v 22 Hurricanes @Christchurch
Sat, 28 Jul 2018 Semi Final – Crusaders 30 v 12 Hurricanes @Christchurch
Fri, 25 May 2018 Crusaders 24 v 13 Hurricanes @Christchurch
Sat, 10 Mar 2018 Hurricanes 29 v 19 Crusaders @Wellington
Sat, 15 Jul 2017 Hurricanes 31 v 22 Crusaders @Wellington
Hurricanes overall record against the Crusaders
Played 36, Wins 12, Losses 21, Draws 3
15 Chase Tiatia 14 Jordie Barrett 13 Matt Proctor 12 Ngani Laumape 11 Ben Lam 10 Beauden Barrett 9 TJ Perenara (c) 8 Reed Prinsep 7 Ardie Savea 6 Vaea Fifita 5 Liam Mitchell 4 James Blackwell 3 Ben May 2 Ricky Riccitelli 1 Fraser Armstrong
Replacements 16 Asafo Aumua 17 Chris Eves 18 Jeff To’omaga-Allen 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi 21 Richard Judd 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop 23 Wes Goosen
1. Harry Allan 2. Codie Taylor 3. Michael Alaalatoa 4. Scott Barrett 5. Sam Whitelock (C) 6. Whetukamokamo Douglas 7. Matt Todd (VC) 8. Kieran Read 9. Bryn Hall 10. Richie Mo’unga 11. George Bridge 12. Ryan Crotty (VC) 13. Jack Goodhue 14. Braydon Ennor 15. David Havili
Replacements : 16. Andrew Makalio ,17. George Bower ,18. Oliver Jager ,19. Quinten Strange, 20. Jordan Taufua , 21. Mitchell Drummond ,22. Brett Cameron,23. Will Jordan
Match Officials and details
Date :Friday 29 March
Venue : Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick Off local: 19:35
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1:Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2:Nick Hogan
TMO : Aaron Peterson