Rugby: Read ruled out of playoff

Kieran Read. Photo / Getty Images
Kieran Read. Photo / Getty Images

No 8 Kieran Read has lost his race to be fit in time for the Crusaders' Super Rugby playoff against the Bulls, meaning Richie McCaw will continue to operate at the base of the scrum.

Read missed last week's defeat of the Western Force with a rib injury and it had been hoped he would be fit enough to face the Bulls in the must-win match in Christchurch on Saturday night. Mary Todd will start on the open side flank.

Coach Todd Blackadder has made three changes to the side that started against the Force, with Wyatt Crockett starting in place of Ben Franks who moves to the bench. Lock Sam Whitelock also swaps with Tom Donnelly, who moves to the bench and Adam Whitelock gets the nod on the wing with Sean Maitland on the wing.

The winner of the game will play either the Chiefs or Stormers, depending on other results.

Crusaders: 1 Wyatt Crockett, 2 Corey Flynn, 3 Owen Franks, 4 Luke Romano, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 6 George Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 8 Richie McCaw (c), 9 Andy Ellis, 10 Dan Carter (vc), 11 Zac Guildford, 12 Ryan Crotty, 13 Robbie Fruean, 14 Adam Whitelock, 15 Israel Dagg

Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Ben Franks, Tom Donnelly, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Sean Maitland

- APNZ

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