ABs captain a massive doubt for France clash

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ABs captain a massive doubt for France clash

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read is unlikely to be picked for the June Test series against France in New Zealand as he recovers from a long-term injury.

 
 

The 32-year-old has been sidelined since December when he underwent surgery on his lower back to fix a nerve which caused pain in his leg and Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson revealed that he expects the number eight to return action when the Super Rugby tournament resumes after the its break for the June Tests.

“Just to make it easier for him and to be really clear, there is no race for him to be there,” Robertson told Stuff.

“It is going to be post-June when he is ready.”

At the start of the season it was hoped that Read would be able to target a return to action for the Crusaders’ game against the Sunwolves which takes place in Christchurch on Saturday.

Robertson’s remarks follows comments from All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen who told Radio Sport there was no pressure on Read to rush back during the three-Test series against France.

“I don’t think he’ll be back until after the French series but that’s not a fait accompli at this point,” said Hansen.

“He knows his body and we can’t afford to come back too early and damage it again and miss another six months and maybe even miss the World Cup – we’ll just take it one day at a time and one week at a time.”

Robertson echoed Hansen’s sentiments and said Read should take his time before making his comeback.

“He is a player that has played of a hell of a lot of footy,” he added.

“When he is right he could just go out there and play and be the man of the match. He has got that ability, instinct and experience.

“You just don’t rush [injured] backs. The nerve is growing back, and he will get some strength in that calf. He is starting to run better, he is progressing. It is just time.”

 
 

 
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