Read Ruled Out
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has ruled out Kieran Read for selection for the semi-final clash against the Chiefs on Friday.
Read is still recovering from a fractured rib sustained against the New Zealand Conference winners in Round 17 and Blackadder has made an early call on his availability to ensure a smooth week of preparation.
Blackadder said Richie McCaw’s good form helped make the decision an easy one. "Richie is one of those guys who is hugely experienced and if anything It has been quite good for him," he said.
"He's certainly bringing physical presence and he's played really well at No.8 though he's naturally a No.7. He's been outstanding, but I'm proud of our loose forward trio. They're really putting their hand up and playing really well," he added.
Read said he’d be ready should the Crusaders advance to the final. "I'm definitely improving, but it is still a bit niggly. I'm able to do a few more things this week and can run around so hopefully another week will make a big difference.
"If we're involved in a final I'll definitely be there and ready to go," said Read.