Read to be given weekend off

Date published: July 3 2016

The Crusaders are sticking by resting captain and number eight Kieran Read for next week’s crucial Super Rugby match against the Rebels.

Despite losing to the Chiefs on Friday, which meant the team from Hamilton jumped above them in the standings, head coach Todd Blackadder is sticking with the decision to give the All Black star a weekend’s break in the home game so that he is fresh for the upcoming play-offs.

“Kieran has been fronting for us all year, now it’s time for this team to step up,” Blackadder told after they went down to the Chiefs in Suva.

The Hurricanes and Highlanders have closed the gap on the Crusaders in the standings to one and two points respectively so this weekend will be a must-win before they tackle the Hurricanes in Christchurch the following week, with Read set to be fresh for that match.

“We are just going to give him a breather, that was always the plan,” added Blackadder.

In other news, Blackadder revealed that prop Joe Moody had “a really sore neck” while fellow front-row Wyatt Crockett has a calf problem.