28 May 2014

Read back for Crusaders

5:12 pm on 28 May 2014

The All Blacks number eight Kieran Read will make his return to the Crusaders after a prolonged injury and illness absence.

Read hasn't played for five weeks after being concussed in the Crusaders win over the Chiefs in the middle of last month.

He was set to return last week against the Highlanders but was ruled out with a cold and sinus infection.

Read will captain the Crusaders in their match against the Western Force in Christchurch on Friday night.

Just how he comes through the match could also determine what part he'll play in the All Blacks first test of the year against England in Auckland next week.

Read's return means Luke Whitelock moves to the reserves and is the only change to the Cruasaders' starting lineup.