While All Blacks front rower Owen Franks will play his 150th Super Rugby match for the Crusaders on Saturday night, it's a different story for his propping partner.

George Bower, who made his debut of the bench last weekend, has been given the nod in the No1 jersey for the clash against the Highlanders in Dunedin with Tim Perry and Joe Moody both injured.

Franks, who will become just the third Crusader to play 150 games for the club, said while Bower was fresh to the competition, there was no need to offer any veteran advice.

"Guys, when they get to this level, have played a lot of rugby themselves making their way up and in a week like this they've probably got enough on their mind already," Franks said.


"I'm pretty pumped for George. He's one of those guys who comes into pre-season and takes every opportunity he gets and deserves his crack this week."

Bower will get his first start in the competition in familiar territory, playing his Mitre 10 Cup football with Otago.

He joins a forward pack full of experience, with the Crusaders welcoming back the likes of Sam Whitelock, Matt Todd and Codie Taylor back into the starting side. Their returns are among a number of changes to the Crusaders team that decimated the Chiefs last weekend.

David Havili returns to the starting side in the No15 jersey after spending time in the reserves, with Will Jordan moving back to the bench, while Bryn Hall returns to halfback in place of Ereatara Enari.

The Highlanders have made changes of their own ahead of the southern derby, with Teihorangi Walden returning in the midfield in place of Thomas Umaga-Jensen, who will miss the game due to concussion. Jack Whetton come into the starting side at lock in place of Pari Pari Parkinson, who will also miss the game due to concussion.

Liam Squire and Rob Thompson remain unavailable due to a hip and ankle injury respectively.

Crusaders: David Havili, Braydon Ennor, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Bryn Hall, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Samuel Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, George Bower. Reserves: Andrew Makalio, Harry Allan, Michael Alaalatoa, Quinten Strange, Tom Sanders, Ereatara Enari, Brett Cameron, Will Jordan.

Highlanders: Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Sio Tomkinson, Teihorangi Walden, Richard Buckman, Josh Ioane, Aaron Smith, Luke Whitelock, James Lentjes, Shannon Frizell, Jack Whetton, Josh Dickson, Tyrel Lomax, Liam Coltman, Ayden Johnstone. Reserves: Ash Dixon, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Siate Tokolahi, Tom Franklin, Elliot Dixon, Dillon Hunt, Folau Fakatava, Marty Banks