Concussion problems for Read
Wellington - The Crusaders on Wednesday ruled skipper Kieran Read out of a third straight Super Rugby match due to a concussion the All Blacks stalwart suffered last month.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder insisted Read, last year's International Rugby Board world player of the year, was recovering well from a head knock sustained during the team's April 19 win over the Chiefs.
But he said the New Zealanders were not prepared to take any chances with the 28-year-old and he would sit out the Crusaders' clash with the Reds in Brisbane on Sunday.
"This is by no means an indication that Kieran is not recovering as well as we'd expect, in fact he is progressing well - but he's received two knocks in the past month and we are taking no risks," said Blackadder.
"The Super Rugby season is a long one so there will be plenty of time yet for Kieran to make the significant contribution he always does on the field."
Read also missed a match in early April after another concussion suffered against the Hurricanes, meaning the Reds fixture will be the fourth he has missed for the Crusaders in 10 games.
Rugby authorities have repeatedly warned about the risk of players taking to the field with concussion in recent years amid fears the sport's often brutal collisions could result in long-term brain injury.