Super Rugby 2020: Scott Barrett ruled out of Crusaders' clash with Highlanders

The Crusaders will be without captain Scott Barrett, when they take on the Highlanders on Friday night.

The All Blacks lock tweaked a knee ligament during the win over the Blues last week and will play no part in the southern derby at OrangeTheory Stadium.

Coach Scott Robertson said they decided to play it safe with their linchpin forward.

"Potentially, if it was a final," Robertson said, when asked if Barrett could have played.

"But we made the decision for him, being so important being our captain, that the best thing for him was to take a couple of weeks, because we've got a bye next week."

The absence won't be counted as one of his All Blacks-enforced rest weeks.

Luke Romano will step in to fill Barrett's boots and partner Mitchell Dunshea, and Robertson has complete confidence the former All Black is up to the task.

"He knows his way around the rugby paddock, you've seen the impact he's had off the bench has been incredible.

"He's carrying old school, cleaning out old school, and he brings a real edge and game knowledge that we need and love."

Also ruled out with injury are back utility Will Jordan and prop Oli Jager, who are suffering from a groin injury and concussion respectively. 

The Crusaders have won six of their last seven matches against their southern neighbours.

Crusaders: 1-Joe Moody, 2-Codie Taylor, 3-Michael Alaalatoa, 4-Luke Romano, 5-Mitchell Dunshea, 6-Cullen Grace, 7-Tom Christie, 8-Tom Sanders, 9-Bryn Hall, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-George Bridge, 12-Jack Goodhue, 13-Braydon Ennor, 14-Sevu Reece, 15-David Havili (c) 

Reserves: 16-Andrew Makalio, 17-Isi Tuungafasi, 18-George Bower, 19-Ethan Roots, 20-Sione Havili, 21-Mitchell Drummond, 22-Brett Cameron, 23-Leicester Faingaanuku. 

Join us at 7pm Friday for live updates of the Highlanders v Crusaders Super Rugby clash