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Crusaders lose another All Black to injury

By Online Editors

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Jordan Taufua is a late scratch from the Crusaders side to take on the Hurricanes on Friday night after suffering a calf injury during an All Blacks camp.

On Sunday the 26-year-old was named in the All Blacks’ 33-man squad for their June Test series against France.

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Taufua will join new All Blacks teammates Tim Perry, Sam Whitelock, Ryan Crotty, Owen Franks and Joe Moody on the sidelines for the clash.

Pete Samu will start at No 8 in Taufua’s absence, allowing Ethan Blackadder to join the matchday 23.

“His calf tightened up at the All Blacks camp, so it’s a shame for him because he was pretty pumped to play,” Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson told Team Talk on Thursday night.

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The Crusaders will also be without the services of Fijian winger Manasa Mataele, as well as hooker Ben Funnell, prop Oli Jager and loose forward Tom Sanders, with Funnell, Jager and Sanders all lost for the season.

The last time the two teams met was in round four, with the Hurricanes picking up a 29-19 win in Wellington. The Crusaders lost both Crotty and Whitelock early in the match through concussion, and they were also without the services of Moody, Franks and first-five Richie Mo’unga.

The Crusaders currently top the conference standings with a one-point lead over the Hurricanes, though the latter have a game in hand.

 CRUSADERS

1. Wyatt Crockett, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Michael Alaalatoa, 4. Scott Barrett, 5. Quinten Strange, 6. Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 7. Matt Todd, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Bryn Hall, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 11. George Bridge, 12. Tim Bateman, 13. Jack Goodhue, 14. George Bridge, 15. David Havili.
Reserves: 16. Andrew Makalio, 17. Chris King, 18. Donald Brighouse, 19. Luke Romano, 20. Ethan Blackadder, 21. Mitchell Drummond, 22. Mitch Hunt, 23. Braydon Ennor.

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