Crusaders Captain Scott Barrett has been ruled out of the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition due to a foot injury that needs surgery.
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson was not confident enough at the weekend when asked if Barrett would feature at all this season.
In a statement, the Crusaders confirmed that after consultation with a foot specialist, it has been determined that Scott will miss the remainder of the competition to undergo surgery and allow sufficient time to recover.
38-year-old Alex Ainley has joined the squad as an injury cover for the competition, having trained with the team during pre-season.
The Crusaders will take on the Chiefs at 3.35pm Sunday while the Blues will face the Highlanders at 7.05pm Saturday.
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