Pablo Matera, captain of The Pumas and current Stade Francais player was announced as a new player for Crusaders and got into a select group of players: the few who weren’t born in New Zealand to represent the cast of Christchurch.
In 2010, New Zealand changed its regulations regarding Super Rugby franchises that were able to start incorporating players not born in that country.
The old formats of Super 12 and Super 14 had Crusaders as champion in the years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008 with all local figures who in addition to shining in the franchise did so in the All Blacks. Justin Marshall, Dan Carter, Richie McCaw, Luke Romano, Kieran Read, among many others as the most prominent.
From 2011 to the current season, Crusaders added very few foreigners to their ranks: Nemani Nadolo (Fiji), Ben Volavola (Australia), Peter Samu (Australia), Michael Ala’alatoa (Australia), Nepo Laulala (Samoa), Nathaniel Apa (Samoa), Jone Macilai (Samoa), Manasa Mataele (Fiji), Sevu Reece (Fiji) and Oliver Jager (Ireland).
Of this select group, some are nationalized New Zealanders and have even represented the All Blacks. For this reason, Pablo Matera will be one of the privileged importers to wear the jersey of the best team in the world.