Although the Crusaders will be without All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw for the first half of the Super rugby competition they do get to welcome All Blacks Brad Thorn, Kieran Read and Dan Carter.
The trio will play in the side's pre-season match against the Highlanders in Oamaru, on Friday.
McCaw revealed yesterday he has a stress fracture in his foot which needs surgery and he will miss the first half of the competition.
Corey Flynn is also in the starting squad in what will be his first match since since injuring a calf muscle during last year's NPC.
Thorn, Read and Carter will be playing their first games since the All Blacks end of year tour.