Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder is adamant his side are much better placed than they were this time last year as they resume their pre-season.
The All Blacks return to their Super Rugby squads around the country today, a month and a half out from the start of the season.
Blackadder says while the Crusaders culture is often talked about, they've made some changes for the 2012 season.
"I think we're running a far better programme but the results will have to speak for themselves, but early on I'm really pleased, we've got a new trainer so he's been a bit of a different work ethos to the Crusaders this year.''
He says there won't be any gutbusting runs on the first day.
"Everyone gets to meet everyone and introduce themselves and basically make sure we start as we left our pre-season training, getting everyone up to speed who hasn't been involved.''
Crusaders and All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw will be back at training with his injured foot, but won't be doing any of the running programme.
Meanwhile the transition of Piri Weepu from a Hurricane to a Blues player has taken another step.
He's been under Blues coach Pat Lam's tutelage for the first time this morning
The All Blacks halfback was part of an exodus from the capital triggered by the acrimonious departure of Andrew Hore and Ma'a Nonu last year.