Kieran Read has been ruled out of the Crusaders team to play the Brumbies in Christchurch on Saturday due to concussion.
It is the second match Read has missed this year with a head injury. He received the knock during the victory over the Chiefs in Hamilton a fortnight ago, with the Crusaders having a bye in the latest round.
Read's absence means Richie McCaw starts in his first match for the Crusaders since his broken thumb in round two. McCaw, who probably would have been named on the reserves bench had Read been fit, will start in the No6 jersey, with Matt Todd retaining the No7. Luke Whitelock has been named at No8, in spite of Jordan Taufua's strong performance against the Chiefs.
Lock Luke Romano returns from the calf strain which has ruled him out of the Crusaders' past three matches - all away victories.
Ryan Crotty will captain the team in Read's absence, with McCaw named as vice-captain.
The Brumbies, second on the table behind the Sharks, come into the game following a comprehensive victory over the Chiefs in Canberra.
The Crusaders team to play the Brumbies at Christchurch Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 7.35pm is: Israel Dagg, Johnny McNicholl, Kieron Fonotia, Ryan Crotty (c), Nemani Nadolo, Colin Slade, Andy Ellis, Luke Whitelock, Richie McCaw, Sam Whitelock, Dominic Bird, Owen Franks, Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Corey Flynn, Tim Perry, Nepo Laulala, Luke Romano, Jordan Taufua, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Nafi Tuitavake