Crusaders to be without five All Blacks for Canes

The Crusaders hopes of reaching the Super Rugby play offs have taken a severe blow ahead of their match this weekend against the Hurricanes as the injuries are mounting up.

Kieran Read will be joined on the sidelines by Sam Whitelock as both players suffered concussion playing against the Waratahs in Sydney on the weekend.

The pair are among five All Blacks who will miss this weekend’s match at Trafalgar Park as fullback Israel Dagg, fly-half Colin Slade and prop Joe Moody are sidelined with calf, quadriceps and foot injuries respectively.

The seven time champions have an outside chance of reaching the 2015 Super Rugby play offs but need to beat the tournament leading Hurricanes this weekend if they are to remain in the hunt.

The Crusaders have not missed the play off phase of the Super Rugby tournament since 2001 but it now looks like they will miss the 2015 play offs.

Read and Whitelock missed the first three rounds of Super Rugby this year as part of a negotiated rest break for All Blacks but have started every game since then

The loss of Slade will most likely mean that Dan Carter will start at 10 for the third time this year having played mostly at No.12 this season.

Dagg, was a late withdrawal against the Waratahs with a recurrence of his calf injury which has limited him to playing just five matches this season.

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