Vice-captains Crotty and Todd ready for Crusaders' action

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Lynn McConnell     17 Feb 2017     Getty Images

Word that he was being sought by English club Bristol was news to him and he said his mind was firmly with the Crusaders.

He was off contract at the end of 2017 but he said if he concentrated on playing his rugby all the other stuff took care of itself.

"That's honestly really what my focus is on and when that time comes to make a decision I will make whatever decision is best for me and my future," he said.

Having been back with the squad since mid-January he was looking forward to playing the Hurricanes in the side's final pre-season game.

"Pre-season never gets any easier. The body's been pretty sore the last couple of weeks but is ready for some game time."

But Crotty said while he enjoyed his break he found himself missing the involvement with the side, and his team-mates, and it was still easy to get back in the team environment to rub shoulders and work hard with the team.

He described new coach Scott Robertson as 'a breath of fresh air' and it was exciting working with him.

"He's got his own wee spin on it and it is awesome so far."

Crotty said he didn't think his last season could have gone much better for him.

"I really enjoyed it and I guess the reason it worked well for me was that I just kept my head down and worked hard. Hopefully if I do the same those good performances and accolades will come away," he said.

Crotty and fellow All Black Matt Todd have been named co-vice-captains for the side and Todd said it was nice to have that recognition and he was looking forward to supporting lock Sam Whitelock during the season.

Todd said there was an exciting feel around the Crusaders camp with new players involved and also different coaching personnel who brought different personalities and ideas into play.

There were good signs within the Crusaders squad and good competition for positions.

"We're putting some exciting stuff together at training and now the big test is putting it onto the pitch," he said.

This week's warm-up game against the Hurricanes, the defending champions, would be a good gauge of where the side was at, he said.

So far as the demands of the emphasis on tackle laws was concerned Todd said it was likely the referees would come in quite hard on rulings at the start and players were going to have to adjust quickly.

"Players will have to adjust their tackle height and be careful and know that if they get up around the head-neck area it is a penalty or a card.

"You've got a smaller margin for error. If you go for the ball and slip up a little you are penalised so there may be a little trial and error adjusting," he said.