The All Blacks will be without the services of one of New Zealand’s standout players due to injury for the remainder of 2022.
Versatile Kiwi forward Ethan Blackadder was Thursday ruled out for the rest of the year after scans confirmed he required surgery on a dislocated shoulder.
With a three-Test series against Ireland next month, it was a further blow for the All Blacks with fellow loose forward Sam Cane having missed a month with a knee injury and Dalton Papalii sidelined by appendicitis.
The 27-year-old Blackadder was injured during the Crusaders’ 37-15 victory over the Reds in last week’s Super Rugby quarter-final.
It was immediately evident he would not be able to play in Friday’s semi-final against the Chiefs, but the full extent of the injury did not become clear until doctors completed their assessment.
“We really feel for Ethan, who has been in incredible form and is such a hardworking and well-respected member of this team,” Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said.
“Our medical team will do what they do best and ensure he has everything he needs to be right for the 2023 season.”
Blackadder was voted by the Crusaders this year as their player of the year. He debuted for the All Blacks in 2021 and played nine Tests, with his ability to cover all three loose-forward positions making him an essential figure in the squad.
© Agence France-Presse