Crusaders captain gets two 'assistants'
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sam Whitelock, who will lead a powerful Crusaders team in their final pre-season Super Rugby hit-out, will have two assistants this season.
Coach Scott Robertson named a strong side to take on the Hurricanes in Waverley on Friday, including 11 All Blacks.
Whitelock will have two assistants - vice-captains for the season, Matt Todd and Ryan Crotty.
"We are thrilled to announce Matt Todd and Ryan Crotty as our 2017 vice-captains," Robertson said.
"They are both natural leaders who make a huge contribution through their intelligent reading of the game.
"They are stalwarts of the team - Ryan has already notched up over 100 caps and Matt is on track to mark his century this year - and have the respect of their teammates."
The Crusaders will play their 2017 season opener against the Brumbies in Christchurch on Saturday, February 25.
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Ere Enari, Jed Brown, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Tim Perry.
Replacements - from: Joe Moody, Wyatt Crockett, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, Luke Romano, Quinten Strange, Mitchell Dunshea, Jed Brown, Jordan Taufua, Bryn Hall, Mitchell Drummond, Mitch Hunt, Sione Fifita, David Havili, Sean Wainui, Manasa Mataele, Marty McKenzie.
Date: Friday, February 17
Venue: Border Rugby Club, Waverley
Kick-off: 17.00 (04.00 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)