All Blacks captain Kieran Read has described himself as 100 per cent fit as he continues his rehabilitation from wrist surgery ahead of his biggest year in charge of the national team.
The 31‑year‑old, who has played 97 tests and, continued fitness permitting, will bring up three figures in the third test against the Lions at Eden Park in early July, should be jumping out of his skin when he is finally given the green light to play for the Crusaders this season.
Read went under the knife late last year and he hopes to play his first game for new Crusaders coach Scott Robertson in round seven of the Super Rugby competition in mid‑April.
All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock will captain the Crusaders this season.
Meanwhile, the Blues will take on the Rebels in the opening match of the Super Rugby Season at 8.45pm next Thursday.