Coach Scott Robertson has confirmed that Richie Mo’unga and Ethan Blackadder will miss the opening three rounds of the Crusaders’ Super Rugby Pacific campaign.
Mo’unga and Blackadder were absent from the Crusaders squad that departed to Queenstown, where the first three rounds of the competition will be played in a bio-bubble.
Explaining their absence, Robertson said Mo’unga activated a clause in his contract which allows him to take an extended break, while Blackadder is nursing a hamstring strain. They will miss the matches against the Hurricanes, Highlanders and Moana Pasifika.
As it stands, teams will only be in the bio-bubble for the opening three rounds and, according to Robertson, Mo’unga and Blackadder will be available for selection after that.
“Once we come out of the bubble, they’ll available to play, so they will be available round four against the Chiefs [in Christchurch].”