The statistics weigh heavily in favour of the Crusaders. Since the start of Super Rugby they have had an incredible record of changing the career trajectory of players rejected or abandoned elsewhere.

The list of those who have found a new lease of life at the Crusaders is long and impressive. It started with Norm Berryman and includes, but is not confined to, Caleb Ralph, Rico Gear, Kevin Senio, Zac Guildford, Bryn Hall and Sevu Reece.

Ali Williams could even be included as the big lock arguably played his best rugby in 2008 when he was with the Crusaders.