Blues: 1. Tom McCartney 2. Keven Mealamu 3. Charlie Faumuina
Tom McCartney will be getting the start at loosehead in Woodcock's absence. While he may seem undersized, he showed in last year's ITM Cup that he is capable of holding his own against bigger props, partly due to his incredible strength (hence the nickname Freak).
Captain Keven has been an outstanding performer for the Blues for years, having played 124 games for the franchise. In the last meeting, Mealamu was almost perfect, throwing the ball well at the lineouts, fielding nearly all of the kickoffs and even scoring the game-winning try with minutes remaining.
The former flanker has a very high work rate, punishing defense and is guaranteed to gain metres at every pick-and-go.
Faumuina has been improving with every year with his powerful scrummaging and mobility. He is beginning to resemble his former teammate, John Afoa. Just watch this beautiful sidestep from last year's game.
With Afoa off to Ulster, Faumuina will look to make the most of his starting opportunity to maybe even push for a black jersey.
Crusaders: 1. Wyatt Crockett 2. Quentin MacDonald 3. Ben Franks
Wyatt Crockett was viewed to be an unlucky omission from last year's World Cup squad. Last year's Steinlager Super Rugby Player of the Year will be looking to firmly establish himself as Tony Woodcock's successor.
He resembles Woodcock in a lot of ways, with great scrummaging and a nose for the try line. While Woodcock is becoming more injury prone, Crockett continues to improve by the year.
Corey Flynn's recovery from a toe injury means that Tasman hooker Quentin MacDonald will be starting. He had regular game time last year and proved to be a solid backup, which is important due to Flynn's regular injury problems.
Versatile prop Ben Franks will start instead of his brother Owen in a surprising turn of events. While he is a great scrummager, he doesn't bring the defensive game of younger brother. But the fact that he will be starting against a regular hooker may have influenced Blackadder's decision to leave Owen on the bench.
Faumuina and Crockett will be a good matchup at scrum-time due to their constant improvements. But on the other side, while McCartney is an incredibly strong player himself, Franks is bigger and stronger and has more experience playing prop. The Blues' front row will be better in the loose, but the Crusaders should have an advantage at scrum-time.