Read still sidelined

The Crusaders will continue their quest for Super Rugby honours without Kieran Read as the No 8 remains doubtful for the semi-final against the Chiefs.

Read’s rib injury has seen Richie McCaw fill in at No 8 in recent weeks. The All Blacks loose forward was expected to return in the semi-final, a move that would allow McCaw to move back to his preferred position of openside flank, but word from Christchurch is that Read is still struggling with the injury.

Coach Todd Blackadder has revealed that Read is a week away from being fully fit. This means he will probably only be available for the final should the Crusaders progress.