Super Rugby: Sam Whitelock, Ryan Crotty to miss Crusaders match with Chiefs

All Blacks and Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock will sit out Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Chiefs.

Whitelock is still recovering from the head knock he suffered three weeks ago against the Hurricanes, and is now in doubt for the first test against France on June 9.

Joining him on the sidelines with concussion issues of his own will be midfielder Ryan Crotty.  He'll miss his second consecutive match this weekend, and is another whose status for the All Blacks opener is highly questionable.

However, coach Scott Robertson was adamant both players had shown "massive" improvement, and are right on the cusp of a return.

"They weren't quite ready so we're giving them another week to come right," Robertson said of Whitelock and Crotty. "It's a week by week thing, so we'll see what happens next week."

"When you go through these processes it is a day to day thing and they're great. Maybe if the game was on Sunday they could have been available, so it's that close."

Quinten Strange will fill in again for Whitelock, while Jack Goodhue and Seta Tamanivalu occupy the centres.

All Blacks prop Joe Moody is back from his two-game suspension for striking against the Waratahs.

Flanker Matt Todd will fill in as captain in Whitelock's absence.

Missing from the team who beat the Hurricanes last weekend is Wallabies loose forward wannabe Pete Samu, who was also forced off after taking a blow to the head.

Crusaders: 15. Havili, 14. Dagg, 13. Tamanivalu, 12. Goodhue, 11. Bridge, 10. Mo'unga, 9. Bryn Hall, 8. Taufua, 7. Todd (c) 6. Bedwell-Curtis, 5. Strange 4. Barrett, 3. Alaalatoa, 2. Taylor, 1. Moody

Reserves: 16. Makailo, 17. Crockett, 18. Brighouse, 19. Romano, 20. Blackadder, 21. Drummond, 22. Hunt, 23. Macilai

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