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Cold means Read again out for Crusaders

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Update: 12:19PM Skipper Kieran Read is again missing from the Crusaders' line-up for their Super Rugby match against the Highlanders, but this time because of restricted training due to a cold.

Read hasn't played since coming off with concussion in the 18-17 win over the Chiefs a month ago.

Since then, the Crusaders have had a bye and three matches, for two wins and a loss.

While team management say Read is now concussion-free, the All Blacks No.8 has been battling a cold and a sinus infection since the weekend.

That meant he couldn't take part in full-contact work this week, which was required to get final clearance for concussion.

Coach Todd Blackadder has made five personnel changes and one positional switch for the match in Dunedin on Saturday between the competition's fifth and sixth-placed teams.

The changes include replacing the entire front row that began the 30-25 loss to the Sharks in Christchurch last weekend.

Loosehead prop Tim Perry, hooker Ben Funnell and tighthead Nepo Laulala replace Wyatt Crockett, Corey Flynn and Owen Franks, who all move to the reserves.

The halfback berth has again been rotated, with Andy Ellis getting the No.9 jersey and Willi Heinz on the bench.

Fullback Israel Dagg makes his return after being rested against the Sharks.

Dagg's inclusion means a reshuffle, with Tom Taylor shifting to centre for Rey Lee-Lo.

Centre Adam Whitelock, who was released to play for the All Blacks Sevens in the last two rounds of the sevens world series, is set to make his return to Super Rugby off the bench.

Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Johnny McNicholl, Tom Taylor, Ryan Crotty (capt), Nemani Nadolo, Colin Slade, Andy Ellis, Luke Whitelock, Richie McCaw, Jordan Taufua, Sam Whitelock, Dominic Bird, Nepo Laulala, Ben Funnell, Tim Perry. Res: Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett, Owen Franks, Jimmy Tupou, George Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Adam Whitelock, Nafi Tuitavake.

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