Telusa Veainu has been called into the Crusaders from the Highlanders to cover a wing shortage.

Zac Guildford's self-imposed break from the Crusaders, and the hamstring injury to New Zealand sevens player Kurt Baker, has left Todd Blackadder's team short of wings before the season has started.

Veainu, a member of the Canterbury ITM Cup team, was in the Highlanders wider training squad but has been called in by Blackadder on a short-term contract and been named in the reserves to play the southerners at a pre-season match in Oamaru on Friday.

Canterbury's Johnny McNicholl has recovered from a back injury and takes his place on the left wing.


All Blacks Wyatt Crockett, Luke Romano and Israel Dagg also return after missing the narrow defeat by the Hurricanes in Timaru.

Crockett and Romano take their places as starting loosehead prop and lock respectively, but Dagg has been named in the unfamiliar No13 jersey. Tom Marshall will start at fullback.

Crusaders team to play the Highlanders in Oamaru on Friday, kick-off 4.30pm, is: Tom Marshall, Adam Whitelock, Israel Dagg, Ryan Crotty (c), Johnny McNicholl, Tom Taylor, Andy Ellis, Jordan Taufua, Shane Christie, Luke Whitelock, Dominic Bird, Luke Romano, Pa'ea Fa'anunu, Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Adrian Barone, Joe Moody, Jimmy Tupou, Jeremy Su'a, Willi Heinz, Robbie Fruean, Telusa Veainu, Joel Everson, Mitch Graham, Matt Todd, Tyler Blyendaal, Kieran Fonotia, George Whitelock, James Schrader.