Super Rugby 2019: Kieran Read available for Crusaders' clash with Hurricanes

The Crusaders are set for an influx of firepower as they look to bounce back from a first loss in over a year.

The two-time defending champions slipped up in the wet against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday night.

The 20-12 loss the first for the Crusaders since the Highlanders tripped them up in Dunedin in round five, 2018.

But with a top of the table clash against the Hurricanes beckoning, the red and blacks are set to welcome back Kieran Read who hasn't played since November.

Read will be joined by Richie Mo'unga and Scott Barrett who were both on All Blacks rest last week.

Read is raring to go according to forwards coach Jason Ryan.

"He's done all his protocols, return to play, he's fresh, his back is good and mentally he's fresh which is even more important," Ryan told Newshub.

The team to play the Hurricanes will be named on Wednesday, giving the Crusaders brains trust 48 hours to decide whether Read starts, comes off the bench and doesn't play at all.

Regardless of Read's role, the Crusaders will be a much stronger line-up that lost to Waratahs at the weekend with centre Jack Goodhue given dispensation to play, despite being widely expected to get a rest as per All Blacks protocols.

In-form lock Barrett has enjoyed his brief break after a stellar start to 2018.

The All Black forward had been the Crusaders most consistent player through the opening month of the tournament before skipping the trip to Sydney.

"I shot up to the Taranaki for a bit hang around home and chill out away from rugby which was nice.

And no, brothers Beauden and Jordie weren't there - the three siblings will next see each other at the Caketin on Friday night.

Scott Barrett's part of the so-called 'Rolls Royce' Crusaders pack that's dominated the Canes in recent times fixtures, including a demolition job in Christchurch last month.

The Canes are hoping to take lessons from how the Waratahs stifled the Crusaders main strength. 

"The main thing the Waratahs did was they were physical, they went hard out, into rucks, contestable and they won those fifty-fifties," said Hurricanes assistant coach Jason Holland.


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