Cape Town - New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has said that the Crusaders and Blues will have their All Blacks available when they face the British and Irish Lions.
The British and Irish Lions kick-off their tour against the provincial barbarians in Whangarei on June 3 before tackling the Blues four days later, with the game against the Crusaders following on June 10. Both those sides look set to be filled with All Blacks, Hansen has confirmed.
"That's all been sorted. The first two Super Rugby games before we assemble they'll all be available. After that they'll be with us," he told Stuff.
Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson understandably was delighted with the news as he could have as many as 11 All Blacks in his side.
"It's hugely significant for our region, the Crusaders and the people of Christchurch after what we've been through and not being able to host a test match it is our equivalent," he said.
"To have the All Blacks playing on top it is going to be a pretty special evening. It's history making.
"They have got a bit of time off afterwards to get themselves right for that first test match and it comes in our bye so there's a lot of things going for us. As a whole group it is something to look forward to."