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‘He’s a little bit frustrated’: Crusaders star ruled out of quarter-final

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has confirmed that veteran lock Sam Whitelock is “not available” for this weekend’s quarter-final against the Fijian Drua in Christchurch.

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Whitelock was replaced at half-time during the Crusaders’ tough loss to the Hurricanes at Sky Stadium, and it was later revealed that the All Black had aggravated an Achilles injury.

Earlier this season, the two-time Rugby World Cup winner missed a number of games due to injury – before returning for the Crusaders win over the Rebels in round nine.

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But the Crusaders great has been dealt another cruel injury blow during his last Super Rugby Pacific campaign in New Zealand.

Whitelock will miss this weekend’s quarter-final, but the Crusaders are “hopefully” that their star lock will be available should they progress to the next stage of the competition.

“Sam’s not available this week obviously,” coach Scott Robertson told reporters. “We’re waiting on examinations and tests an scans from his Achilles, but we’re hopeful for next week.

“He wanted to look after it in the context of the match and the season ahead, which we did, but he’s not quite right this week.”

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The Crusaders announced earlier this month that Whitelock had penned a contract with French club Pau in the Top 14.

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Whitelock will leave New Zealand Rugby after this year’s Rugby World Cup, and will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the all-time greats.

But, with the end of his decorated Crusaders career in sight, the 34-year-old has been left “a little bit frustrated.”

“Sam had planned to have a much more-involved last season,” he added. “He’s so important to us and so passionate about it – he trains at 100 per cent still.

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“He’s a little bit frustrated but we still hope he’s got another game or two left in him.”

The Crusaders host the Fijian Drua in a blockbuster quarter-final at Orangetheory Stadium at 7.05pm NZST on Saturday.

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Andrew 406 days ago

Blockbuster? Against the Drua? Spare us...

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