Ever since rugby was first introduced to New Zealand in 1870, it has been a national obsession with an undeniable influence on the country’s life and culture. It’s the club game that nurtures New Zealand’s world-class talent, and one team in particular can count itself as one of the finest. The Crusaders are based in Christchurch and are the most successful team in the Super Rugby competition, having won 12 titles in the short history of the tournament. OFFICIAL PERFORMANCE NUTRITION PARTNER Science in Sport has teamed up with the Crusaders as their Official Performance Nutrition Partner for the 2022 and 2023 seasons and is proud to be working with one of the best club teams in World Rugby. The partnership will provide the Crusaders with high quality sports nutrition informed by science to help improve performance and help deliver results on the pitch. PAST AND PRESENT PLAYERS Many notable players have represented the Crusaders and include the likes of Dan Carter, Richie McCaw and Justin Marshall, to name a few. Playing for the team currently are the likes of Richie Mo’unga, who won a second consecutive Player of the Year award at the club’s recent annual awards evening, lock Sam Whitelock who has more than 150 caps for Crusaders, and hooker Codie Taylor, prop Joe Moody and halfback Mitch Drummond who all have at least 100 caps each. SUPER RUGBY The Crusaders’ numerous consecutive titles help to understand their dominance in one of the world’s toughest club rugby competitions. In addition, the team has appeared in the play-offs of the Super Rugby competition on 22 occasions in 26 seasons. SUPER RUGBY AOTEAROA The Crusaders have most recently won back-to-back Super Rugby Aotearoa championships, and their 2021 win was their fifth consecutive title. New Zealand Rugby launched the separate domestic competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s international travel restrictions, but it will return with a new format next season, featuring two new teams. SUPER RUGBY PACIFIC In February 2022, the Crusaders will be playing in Super Rugby Pacific, a joint venture between New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia. The new format is historic for rugby in the Pacific region and will include five clubs from New Zealand, five clubs from Australia, a Fijian side – Fijian Drua – and a team representing the Pacific Islands, Moana Pasifika. 2022 SEASON The Crusaders squad has been bolstered by the recent signing of 26-year-old former Chiefs halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi and the re-signing of Head coach and former Crusader & All Black Scott Robertson, who has committed to a new three-year deal through to the end of 2024. Having steered them to 5 titles in 5 years, Robertson provides the organisation with great continuity as they head into their 27th campaign of Super Rugby and hope to continue their incredible success. Written By Nick Burt In a previous life Nick played American football professionally before becoming a secondary school teacher. Nowadays he works as a freelance copywriter where amongst other things he gets to write about his first love – sports. In his spare time, he lifts weights, plays and coaches baseball (which he calls his retirement sport), and travels with his wife to as many countries as he can.