Blackadder makes early call on Read

Mon, 23 Jul 2012 07:36
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The Crusaders will definitely be without their All Black No.8 Kieran read when they face the Chiefs on Friday.

The Crusaders will definitely be without their All Black No.8 Kieran read when they face the Chiefs on Friday.

Read was ruled out of the Super Rugby semifinal showdown with the Chiefs - a result of the rib injury he suffered in the Round 17 encounter with the Chiefs and which has sidelined him since.

He was forced to exercise on his own on Monday, as his Crusaders teammates stepped up their preparations for the all-New Zealand showdown in Hamilton.

Read was reduced to jogging and doing stretching exercises and Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder decided to make an early call.

That means All Black captain Richie McCaw will again start at No.8, with Matt Todd at openside flank and George Whitelock on either side of the scrum.

Blackadder said that by making a prompt decision the Crusaders could prepare without any question marks hovering over them.

"Richie is one of those guys who is hugely experienced and if anything It has been quite good for him," Blackadder told a media scrum in Christchurch on Monday.

"He's certainly bringing physical presence and he's played really well at No.8 though he's naturally a No.7," the Crusaders coach added.

"He's been outstanding, but I'm proud of our loose forward trio. They're really putting their hand up and playing really well."

Read, who confirmed he had suffered a rib fracture against the Chiefs in Round 17, said he was determined to return if the Crusaders can make the Final next week - when they will face either the Stormers or the Sharks.

"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."

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Sat, 20 January 2018
Glasgow Warriors v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Clermont Auvergne v Ospreys 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Scarlets v Toulon 17h30 Parc y Scarlets
Treviso v Bath 17h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Sun, 21 January 2018
Leicester Tigers v Racing Metro 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Castres 13h00 Thomond Park
Wasps v Ulster 15h15 Ricoh Arena
La Rochelle v Harlequins 15h15 Stade Marcel-Deflandre
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Sat, 20 January 2018
Montpellier v Leinster 14 | 23
Sun, 14 January 2018
Castres v Leicester Tigers 39 | 0
Racing Metro v Munster 34 | 30
Toulon v Treviso 36 | 0
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 55 | 19
Sat, 13 January 2018
Ospreys v Saracens 15 | 15
Harlequins v Wasps 33 | 28
Northampton Saints v Clermont Auvergne 34 | 21
Exeter Chiefs v Montpellier 41 | 10
Kings v Cheetahs 21 | 45
Ulster v La Rochelle 20 | 13
Fri, 12 January 2018
Bath v Scarlets 17 | 35
Sun, 07 January 2018
Wasps v Saracens 15 | 38
Newcastle Falcons v Exeter Chiefs 28 | 20
Sat, 06 January 2018
Munster v Connacht 39 | 13
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Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
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Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
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Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
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Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
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Kings 15 6 0 9 28