NZ latest – Keats cops ban brings you news from New Zealand’s Super Rugby franchises.

Keats cops ban – Hurricanes scrumhalf Tyson Keats has been banned for four weeks after being cited for a spear tackle in Friday’s clash against the Blues.

Keats was yellow carded immediately after he spear tackled opposite number Alby Mathewson and cited after the game. At a disciplinary hearing on Monday, Sanzar judicial officer Nick Davidson said that while the tackle was not premeditated, it was reckless and dangerous.

Battered Crusaders send injury SOS – Israel Dagg (hamstring), Sean Maitland (foot), Kahn Foutali’i (knee) and Adam Whitelock (chest) have all returned to New Zealand and will not face the Cheetahs.

The Crusaders’ quartet were all injured in Saturday’s game against the Stormers. The management has already sent for reinforcements, and Ryan Crotty, Steve Alfeld, Tom Taylor and Brent Ward will be joining the squad.

Blues rest Kaino – All Blacks flank Jerome Kaino won’t be risked for the Blues’ big clash with the Reds this week. Coach Pat Lam said that while Kaino could complete Friday’s game, he needs to be managed carefully at this stage of the competition.

Highlanders hit by injury – Wings James Paterson (pectoral muscle) and Siale Piutau (adductor muscle) have suffered season-ending injuries while Adam Thomson (ribs) will be out for a month.

The Highlanders are already missing a host of frontline players, and this triple blow will hamper their play-off prospects. They are especially thin in the outside backs and coach Jamie Joseph is yet to confirm the replacements.