The Crusaders, already without the injured Richie Mo'unga, have selected Matt Todd to play against the Hurricanes on Saturday despite a broken thumb.

Todd fractured the digit in his side's first match of the season against the Chiefs, and missed last weekend's big victory over the Stormers.

But he will wear the No7 jersey – against fellow All Black Ardie Savea - at the Cake Tin after training well this week.

"It is just at the base of his thumb, there is a little crack," coach Scott Robertson said.


"The surgeon was happy enough if he could function well, it wasn't going to make it any worse. Basically he just had to get a week of training in, and it was Toddy's call because from his point of view, it was safe for him to carry on. He has functioned well."

Todd, who has played 13 tests, will wear protection around the thumb and his presence could be crucial against a side who will attempt to pressure the Crusaders at the breakdown.

Last year, on the All Blacks' November tour, Todd got the nod as Sam Cane's back-up ahead of Savea.

Mitch Hunt has been named in the No10 jersey in the absence of Mo'unga, who has had surgery on a broken jaw.

Elsewhere, flanker Pete Samu will be out for a fortnight with a shoulder issue, while a phalanx of All Blacks regulars - including Kieran Read, Israel Dagg and props Joe Moody and Owen Franks - remain on the sidelines.

Heiden Bedwell-Curtis takes Samu's place in the run-on side, while Todd's return sees Billy Harmon move to the bench.

Crusaders: David Havili, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Mitch Hunt, Bryn Hall, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Sam Whitelock (c), Scott Barrett, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett.

Reserves: Ben Funnell, Chris King, Oliver Jager, Luke Romano, Billy Harmon, Mitch Drummond, Mike Delany, Manasa Mataele.