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Read, McCaw to miss Chiefs clash

10th February 2014 06:18

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All Black forwards Richie McCaw and Kieran Read will both miss the Crusaders' opening match against the Chiefs on February 21.

Read has been granted an extra week off following 2013's punishing schedule with the Crusader and All Blacks.

The IRB Player of the Year is expected to return for the Crusaders' clash against the Blues on February 28.

"[Read] won't be available for the opening game - he will be ready to go for the Blues game. That was always the plan," Blackadder told AAP.

"It's a far better plan than the original one, that he was not going to be available for the first three weeks. Everyone else is ready to go which is good."

Blackadder was more coy on the selection of McCaw, hinting that the 33-year-old may miss out against the champions due to Matt Todd's form in pre-season.

"It's not just about getting guys back and integrating them and letting them get slowly up to speed," added Blackadder.

"It's about who's ready to go at the start and that may mean that Matt Todd is more physically ready to go and up to speed in his skill executions than Richie McCaw.

"That's not to say Richie is not a great player but horses for courses."

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1Sharks831
2Brumbies825
3Chiefs825
4Waratahs824
5Western Force823
6Crusaders822
7Hurricanes821
8Highlanders719
9Bulls919
10Lions916
11Blues816
12Reds816
13Melbourne Rebels816
14Stormers810
15Cheetahs99