Read injury rocks Crusaders

Seven times Super Rugby champions the Crusaders will be without captain Kieran Read for their South African tour.

The Crusaders, who lost their first two matches but scored bonus-point try wins against the Bulls and Kings in Christchurch, play the Stormers in Cape Town this weekend and the Sharks in Durban.

The visitors are already missing the services of All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, who is on a six month rest from the game and All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter, who is staying in New Zealand because of the pending birth of his first child.

The inspirational Read tore big toe ligaments and was officially ruled out of the tour on Monday (NZ time).

The Crusaders usually enjoy success on overseas tours and have the best overseas record in the history of the competition but they will be hard pressed to beat the Stormers and Sharks in successive matches without McCaw, Carter and Read.