There is no doubt the significance of this match for both teams.
The second-placed Brumbies head the Australian conference with 30 points and will want to consolidate that lead over the Western Force (27 points), while they have a chance to go top of the global standings if the Sharks in Melbourne come unstuck on Friday. In contrast the eighth-placed Crusaders are hovering in fourth place in the New Zealand conference, but only four points adrift the leading Hurricanes and two points away from a top six spot.
The Brumbies are well aware that, despite their slow start, the Crusaders remain a formidable force.
“Playing the Crusaders away is a big challenge for everyone,” Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said ahead of their trip across the Tasman for Saturday’s early game.
2013: Crusaders won 30-23, Canberra
2011: Crusaders won 52-10, Nelson
2010: Crusaders won 40-22, Christchurch
2009: Brumbies won 18-16, Canberra
2008: Crusaders won 34-3, Christchurch
2007: Brumbies won 15-6, Canberra
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty (captain), 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Richie McCaw, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Nafi Tuitavake, 17 Tom Taylor, 18 Willi Heinz, 19 Jordan Taufua, 20 Luke Romano, 21 Tim Perry, 22 Nepo Laulala, 23 Corey Flynn.
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Jordan Smiler, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Ruaidhri Murphy, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Tom McVerry, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Pat McCabe.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Ben O’Keefe (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)