Several in Crusaders squad to play club rugby
A large number of Crusaders squad members will get back to their roots and step out in Christchurch club rugby this weekend, but injured captain Kieran Read isn't one of them.
Read has been on the invalids' list since the Crusaders victory over the Kings in Christchurch during round six of Super Rugby.
The All Blacks No 8 came close to being considered for selection for the Crusaders win over the Brumbies in Canberra over the weekend so it was presumed that there was a possibility that he could have played for University on Saturday.
But the Canterbury Rugby Football Union confirmed yesterday that Read wasn't on a list of players who were being released during the Crusaders bye week to play club rugby on Saturday.
That will mean that should Read be considered for the all-important clash with the New Zealand conference leaders, the Blues in Christchurch on Saturday week he will come in fresh after missing eight weeks of rugby.
First-five Dan Carter has also expressed a desire to step out for his club Southbridge this year, but with the closeness of the competition and the fact he has just returned from injury the timing doesn't seem suitable.
It was also confirmed that Carter wants to play a home match at Southbridge and they are this week playing in Dunsandel in the combined Country division one competition.
There were no surprises in the list of players who are being released this week, with most fringe players who have spent time in the Crusaders wider training group this year.
Utility back Adam Whitelock was the only player of real note from the usual 22-man team named each week with first-five eighth Tyler Bleyendaal also relegated back to club duties with Tom Taylor and Carter both back from their injuries.
Bleyendaal has gone from being No 1 with the Crusaders coaches, to hardly raising an eyebrow when it comes to selecting the 22 players to make up the squad each week.
Despite his good form, it appears the only way the rookie will get himself back in on the action is through another injury.
Crusaders players stepping out in club rugby this weekend: Telusa Veainu, Kieron Fonotia, Tyler Bleyendaal, Jeremy Su'a, Adam Whitelock, Shane Christie, Jimmy Tipou, Joel Everson, Nepo Laulala, Paea Fa'anunu, Adrian Barone, Codie Taylor.