Crusader Kieran Read to miss pre-season clash

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2013
Kieran Read
DAVID HALLETT/Fairfax NZ
KIERAN READ: Fit, but like the other All Blacks, not available for the pre-season match against the Hurricanes.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

High-flying Crusaders cooking up a storm but aim to keep a lid on penalty count Super Rugby: Five things learned from the Crusaders' game against the Force Waratahs ready for New Zealand challenge Happy weekend for NZ as Crusaders, Blues and Highlanders earn Super Rugby victories Reds caught short against Jaguares Highlanders coach Tony Brown heaps praise on youngsters after Canberra win Fast-improving wing Matt Duffie shows the way forward for Tana Umaga's Blues Review: Jaguares v Reds - Super Rugby round five Highlanders come from behind to beat Brumbies 18-13 in Canberra Blues backs finally click into gear as Ihaia West cameo helps them surge to bonus point victory over Bulls

Crusaders fans must wait before sighting new captain Kieran Read on duty.

Read, along with the other six All Blacks who played on last year's northern tour, will be rested from Saturday afternoon's Super Rugby pre-season match against the Hurricanes at Timaru's Alpine Energy Stadium.

With Richie McCaw on leave until late June, Read has been appointed Crusaders skipper and will retain that honour when - or if - McCaw returns to action.

Forwards coach Dave Hewett said none of the current All Blacks will be expected to suit-up so soon after returning from holiday. "They will be at the game but not playing. Monday was just their first official day back." Hewett said.

Despite being on holiday the internationals were expected to maintain their fitness levels, but will require time to get used to contact training and any new systems introduced by head coach Todd Blackadder. No 8 Read could make an appearance against the Highlanders in Oamaru on February 8 or the Waratahs in Sydney on February 14.

Because the Crusaders have the bye in the opening round and their first match against the Blues is not until March 1, Hewett said a match involving their development side may be organised a week before.

Read, 27, led the All Blacks against Italy in Rome last year. He has captained the Crusaders when McCaw has been injured or on leave in a caretaker role.

There are several players who can captain the side in Read's absence. George Whitelock has been Canterbury skipper in recent seasons, while Andy Ellis and Corey Flynn are also options.

Dan Carter was the vice-captain last year but will be on ice along with the other All Blacks.

Whitelock, Ellis, Matt Todd, Willi Heinz and Ryan Crotty are all expected to be available despite being given a dispensation to train away from the squad until January 7.

That was designed to allow them to refresh after a stacked Crusaders and Canterbury programme.

While McCaw is on leave, another international, lock Tom Donnelly, is not expected to join the squad because he is still on duty with the Japanese second-division club, Mitsubishi, which he joined seven months ago.

"He will return around February 11 and that's just because his team is doing well and is through to the next level of competition," Hewett said.

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?

Blues

Chiefs

Crusaders

Highlanders

Hurricanes

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content