All Blacks prop Moody back for Crusaders

The Crusaders' Joe Moody will make his first appearance of the Super Rugby season against NSW

All Blacks strongman Joe Moody will make his first appearance of the Super Rugby season after being named to start for the Crusaders against the NSW Waratahs.

The seasoned loosehead prop is one of six starting changes made by the defending champions from the side that overwhelmed the Melbourne Rebels 55-10.

Three of them are in the front row.

Veteran Test prop Owen Franks is rested and replaced by Michael Alaalatoa, while Moody and hooker Codie Taylor complete a muscular trio for Saturday's clash.

Moody suffered serious shoulder damage on All Blacks duty in September and his return was pushed back a month when he suffered finger tendon damage in a club match.

The most notable Crusaders backline omission is rested All Blacks midfield back Ryan Crotty.

Tim Bateman will instead start at inside centre while Manasa Mataele is injected, meaning he and his uncle Seta Tamanivalu start on the wings together for the first time this season.

George Bridge shifts to fullback to accommodate, with David Havili omitted.

The Crusaders are chasing a seventh straight win this season and a ninth in a row on home soil against the Waratahs.

Crusaders: George Bridge, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Tim Bateman, Manasa Mataele, Richie Mo'unga, Bryn Hall, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Pete Samu, Sam Whitelock (capt), Scott Barrett, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody. Reserves: Andrew Makalio, Wyatt Crockett, Donald Brighouse, Mitchell Dunshea, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, Braydon Ennor.