Carter back in No 10 shirt
Wellington - All Blacks flyhalf Daniel Carter will make just his third Super Rugby start of the season in the number 10 shirt this weekend after being named in the Canterbury Crusaders side to face the competition-leading Hurricanes.
A quadricep strain to Colin Slade, one of six All Blacks lost to the Crusaders because of injury this week, means the twice World Player of the Year moves from inside centre and back into the playmaker role for the clash.
Having lost Aaron Cruden for most of the season to a knee injury, New Zealand coach Steve Hansen will undoubtedly welcome the opportunity to see Carter in his preferred position.
Anything but an emphatic win in Nelson will bring an end to the Crusaders' already slim playoff hopes, leaving the seven-times champions with no post-season play for the first time since 2001.
Lock Sam Whitelock, number eight Kieran Read and centre Ryan Crotty have all been ruled out by head knocks sustained in last week's loss to the reigning champion New South Wales Waratahs.
Fullback Israel Dagg injured his calf in the warm-up for the Waratahs match and eight-cap prop Joe Moody has a foot problem.
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will skipper the side from the openside flank in Read's absence.
15 Tom Taylor, 14 Nafi Tuitavake, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo,
10 Dan Carter, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Matt
Todd, 5 Luke Romano, 4 Jimmy Tupou, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Alex Hodgman
16 Codie Taylor, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Dominic Bird, 20
Luke Whitelock, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Jone Macilai
15 James Marshall, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Ma'a Nonu,
11 Julian Savea, 10 Otere Black, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad
Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane
Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes
Substitutes: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Ben May, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Mark
Abbott, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Rey Lee-Lo, 23 Matt Proctor