17 Feb 2011

A shift in training for Crusaders

9:20 am on 17 February 2011

The Crusaders are again favoured to lead the New Zealand charge in the Super Rugby competition despite the coaches admitting they're going through somewhat of a transition this season.

The 7-time champions open their campaign against the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday night, but they'll be without a couple of key players with Richie McCaw, Sonny Bill Williams and Zac Guildford all unavailable.

However they've again managed to compile an experienced and exciting squad of 32 players.

A number of their veteran players are expected to move on after the World Cup and so assistant coach Darryl Gibson says they're concentrating on succession planning.

Bookies have the Crusaders clear favourites to win the New Zealand conference and then go on to win the title again.