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Concerns over Scott Barrett as five key All Blacks sidelined

By Ben Smith
Captain Scott Barrett of the Crusaders leads his team onto the field prior to the round ten Super Rugby Pacific match between the Crusaders and Melbourne Rebels at Apollo Projects Stadium, on April 26, 2024, in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Crusaders captain Scott Barrett lasted just 13 minutes in his return as back spasms forced him from the field against the Reds as five All Blacks suffered injuries in the latest round of Super Rugby Pacific.


Barrett had spent over a month on the sidelines with a broken finger suffered in the early rounds of the competition.

The loss of the inspirational captain against the Reds came after All Black loose forward Ethan Blackadder was a pre-game withdrawal and could be out for a couple of weeks.

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Barrett’s injury will have wider concerns as the All Black lock is expected to lead the second row with the departures of Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock.

The Chiefs were bouyed by the initial diagnosis of blindside flanker Samipeni Finau, who left the field midway through the first half clutching his shoulder after being tackled in a two-man Force hit.

Head coach Clayton McMillan in his post-match interview believed the AC joint had been bruised but no separation had occurred.

He expected Finau will be unfit to play next week but the shoulder concern was not a long-term injury.


“All the 10s in the competition were probably putting all their karma that way,” McMillan joked with reporters.

First five-eighth Damian McKenzie was also forced from the field in the 57th minute for an HIA and did not return.

McKenzie fell in the process of setting up Daniel Rona and took a knock crashing into Wallabies big man Izack Rodda.

Along with Finau, he will be expected to miss some time.

The dynamic No.10 is one of the leading candidates to start in Richie Mo’unga’s absence and the All Blacks will be hoping he returns to full fitness as soon as possible.


Another injury concern was star All Blacks centre Rieko Ioane who is expected to be ruled out for weeks after suffering a bad head knock against the Rebels.

Ioane was helped from the field after a collision with a hip which left him grounded and requiring medical attention.

The Blues No.13 will likely miss next week’s match-up with the Hurricanes which where he would have squared off against All Black-hopeful Billy Proctor.

All five of the injured players are potentially All Blacks starters.


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Jasyn 65 days ago

Much like the Chiefs finally gave up waiting for Atu Moli to ever not be injured, you have to wonder if the Chiefs and Crusaders will let Josh Lord and Ethan Blackadder go next season.

They’re being well paid to sit in the injury ward every year. Better off putting those funds towards someone who might actually play.

Nickers 66 days ago

I don’t think any coach or selector would ever rely on Blackadder being available for selection. I didn’t think it would be possible but he has easily eclipsed Ennor as they most injured player of all time.

IMO a symptom of today’s game where players are required to carry at least 10kg of extra mass from when they first hit the scene in their early 20s. Some players respond well to this, maybe due to genetics allowing them to recover faster, or not having reached their peak natural weight yet, but for others the constant training to maintain their weight eats away at recovery time and they spend most of their careers injured.

Dave 66 days ago

Interesting watching Amaua starting to fire. No idea why he was pulled so early against the Reds.

Isaac 66 days ago

blackadder isnt a key player at all you cant say hes been the best player or a key all black when hes injured every week

Forward pass 67 days ago

Geez plenty of time to come right before test season starts. Dont panic mr Mannering!!!!!

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