Super Rugby Pacific: Crusaders' All Blacks duo David Havili, Cullen Grace confirmed out for rest of season

The Crusaders' worst fears have been confirmed, regarding the availability of All Blacks David Havili and No.8 Cullen Grace.

Both have been ruled out for the rest of the defending champions' Super Rugby campaign, due to injuries suffered against the Waratahs last weekend.

Havili's hamstring injury is likely to rule him out of all rugby for the next two months, which means he won't feature in the All Blacks' July tests

The Crusaders are awaiting the results of further scans to determine the recovery time frame for Grace's dislocated kneecap, with the possibility he may need surgery.

The injury is another cruel blow for Havili, who has already missed four games this season, due to a shoulder injury sustained in the upset loss to Fijian Drua in early March. Grace also missed time at the start of the season with a broken collarbone.

The pair join the ever-growing list of Crusaders players out of action with season-ending injuries, which includes the likes of All Blacks Sevu Reece, Fletcher Newell, Joe Moody and George Bower.

"Really disappointed for them," said coach Scott Robertson. "They're such big contributors to our team and really important parts of it."

Cullen Grace.
Cullen Grace. Photo credit: Getty Images

Fortunately for the Crusaders, midfield support isn't far away. The foot injury that scratched All Blacks back Braydon Ennor before the Waratahs clash isn't considered serious. 

They also have rising prospect Dallas Mcleod to call on, after he filled in so impressively during Havili's earlier absence.

Crusaders stalwart Ryan Crotty was a conspicuous presence at Wednesday's training, but was merely making up numbers. If signed, he'd only be eligible to play the final round robin match.

The same goes for veteran John  Afoa, who answered an SOS for the Crusaders last weekend, after Moody became the latest prop to fall. 

Afoa isn't eligible to play in the playoffs, but will be available against the Hurricanes this weekend.

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