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Read return still a mystery

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Read return still a mystery

Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson confirmed Wednesday that All Blacks captain Kieran Read is unlikely to return for the Crusaders’ April 21 fixture against the Sunwolves, as previously hoped.

The 32-year-old, still without a definitive return date, has been sidelined since November last year.

The 109-test veteran underwent spinal surgery that December to alleviate pain in his legs caused by a bulging disc.

Read is one of four All Blacks the Crusaders started their season without, alongside Israel Dagg, Owen Franks and Tim Perry.

For now, Jordan Taufua will remain in the Crusaders No. 8 jersey.

All Blacks Sam Whitelock, Ryan Crotty and Tim Perry return for the defending champions’ week six clash against the Bulls.

Whitelock and Crotty are both back in the side after missing last weekend’s game against the Highlanders due to concussion, while one-game All Black Tim Perry will make his first start of the season.

CRUSADERS:

15. David Havili, 14. Manasa Mataele, 13. Jack Goodhue, 12. Ryan Crotty, 11. George Bridge, 10. Mitchell Hunt, 9. Mitchell Drummond, 8. Jordan Taufua, 7. Billy Harmon, 6. Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5. Sam Whitelock (C), 4. Scott Barrett, 3. Michael Alaalatoa, 2. Codie Taylor, 1. Tim Perry.
Reserves: 16. Ben Funnell, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Oli Jager, 19. Quinten Strange, 20. Tom Sanders, 21. Bryn Hall, 22. Brett Cameron, 23. Braydon Ennor.

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Read return still a mystery