The injury-ravaged Vodacom Stormers have to come up with a special performance if they want to beat the Crusaders at Christchurch on Saturday.
This is the Stormers last match on the overseas leg of their Vodacom Super 14 campaign and they boast two wins from four starts.
If they can pick up points against the Crusaders, the tour would be an unqualified success and the squad can return home with their heads held high.
Getting a win against the champions – bolstered by the return of their All Blacks – is not going to be easy though. Daniel Carter at flyhalf and flank Richie McCaw are world-beaters, but Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe is not too perturbed by the Crusaders.
He pointed to last year, when the Stormers surprised a star-studded Crusaders team at Newlands. He said: “We are not concerning ourselves too much with what the Crusaders will do with their returning All Blacks.
“We are focusing on what it will take to beat them regardless of who is playing. We beat them last year and it would be nice to end the tour on a high note.”
Teams for Christchurch:
Crusaders: 15 Leon MacDonald, 14 Rico Gear, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Aaron Mauger, 11 Scott Hamilton, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Andrew Ellis, 8 Mose Tuiali’i, 7 Richard McCaw, 6 Reuben Thorne, 5 Chris Jack, 4 Ross Filipo, 3 Campbell Johnstone, 2 Corey Flynn (c), 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ti’i Paulo, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Michael Paterson, 19 Kieran Read, 20 Kevin Senio, 21 Stephen Brett, 22 Johnny Leo’o
Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Breyton Paulse, 13 Jean de Villiers, 12 De Wet Barry, 11 Dylan Des Fountain, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Bolla Conradie, 8 Justin Melck, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Luke Watson (c), 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Francois van der Merwe, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 JD Moller.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Gerrie Britz, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 JP Joubert, 22 Naas Olivier
Referee: Brett Bowden (Australia)