The Crusaders have been handed another blow with the news Tim Perry has strained a hamstring while training with the All Blacks today.

With fellow All Blacks Joe Moody and Owen Franks already serving bans for retrospective red cards, Perry would probably have started in the crunch match against the Hurricanes in Christchurch on Friday.

But after the 29-year-old loosehead strained his left leg in what the All Blacks described as a "low intensity" drill in Auckland today, he is unlikely to be involved at all.

Luckily for the Crusaders, Wyatt Crockett, who has announced his international retirement, is an excellent option for the No1 jersey but Scott Robertson will have to now search for a back-up.

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The clash at AMI Stadium is likely to be a defining regular season clash for both teams. The Crusaders lead the New Zealand conference and the competition by only one point from the Hurricanes, who have played one game less.