Super Rugby Pacific: Ethan Blackadder injury concern for Crusaders and All Blacks

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Key Crusaders loose forward Ethan Blackadder will likely miss the rest of their Super Rugby Pacific season, according to head coach Scott Robertson.

The 27-year-old was forced off in the Christchurch outfit’s 37-15 quarter-final triumph over the Reds with a shoulder injury.

Blackadder looked in serious discomfort as he left the field and looks as though he will be unable to take part in the rest of the Crusaders’ campaign.

Hopefully avoids surgery

“He’s unlikely to be involved for the rest of the season for us, and hopefully it’s not an operation (that’s required),” Robertson told reporters.

“He will definitely have scans. It was pretty sore, as you can see. He’s holding it up.”

It is a blow for the player and the franchise but also potentially the All Blacks, with Blackadder a vital part of the squad last year.

New Zealand face Ireland in a three-Test series in a month’s time and head coach Ian Foster may have to start looking at possible replacements.

“Look, he is our player of the year, voted by the players and the coaches,” Robertson said. “It’s pretty extreme, he’s been one of the form loose forwards in the comp. So, to lose him, we really feel for him.

“There’s not many in the organisation that’s worked harder to get an opportunity to play in these finals.”

Blackadder’s injury was the Crusaders’ only real disappointment as they marched into the Super Rugby semi-finals following an ultimately comfortable victory.

The Reds remained in contention in the opening 50 minutes but the hosts pulled away in the final half-hour with their scrum particularly dominant.

“They weren’t hooking the ball last week, they were just chucking it under their feet,” the head coach added. “We sort of noticed that, and I just feel (tighthead prop) Ollie Jager has come of age hasn’t he?

“He’s incredibly strong, he’s great around the field, he’s mobile.”

READ MORE: Crusaders pull away from Reds to reach semi-finals

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