Crusaders captain Scott Barrett will miss the rest of the Super Rugby Aotearoa season as he requires surgery on a big toe injury.
The New Zealand lock was hurt playing in an internal game on June 13 and, following medical consultation, the decision was taken for Barrett to go under the knife.
Alex Ainley comes into the squad to cover for Barrett, while Codie Taylor takes over the armband.
A Crusaders statement read: “Crusaders Captain Scott Barrett sustained a significant injury to the structures supporting his big toe, while playing in the Crusaders internal game on Saturday 13 June.
Proud and humble to be named as Sport Canterbury Outstanding Team of The Year 2020. We simple can’t do what we do without the support of our fans, sponsors, community and whole region… thank you. Thanks to Sport Canterbury – you guys are awesome! #foreachother #humble #soproud pic.twitter.com/1Fma7JnrNH
— Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) June 20, 2020
“After consultation with a foot specialist, it has been determined that Scott will miss the remainder of the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa competition to undergo surgery and allow sufficient time to recover. Exact return to play dates are uncertain at this stage.
“Alex Ainley has joined the Crusaders squad as injury cover for the competition, and Codie Taylor will take over captaincy of the side for the remainder of the season.”
Barrett signed a new deal to stay with New Zealand Rugby and the Crusaders until 2023 last month.