Fotuali'i breach 'nothing serious' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fotuali'i breach 'nothing serious'

12/05/2010 09:59:16 AM Comments (0)

Crusaders rugby coach Todd Blackadder says halfback Kahn Fotuali'i has done "nothing overly serious" despite being stood down for their must-win Super 14 match against the Brumbies on Friday night.

The in-form Fotuali'i, who played his way into All Blacks contention, was dropped for breaching recovery protocol dictated by the team after their 40-35 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria last weekend.

Blackadder wouldn't say what Fotuali'i had done wrong in Pretoria but said he had accepted his punishment for a match the Crusaders need to win to make the semifinals.

"There's no price that can be paid bigger than standing down for one week. While he's really disappointed he's made significant changes and he's going to do everything he can to support the team," Blackadder told Radio Sport today.

"We've put it behind us and now we can focus on the game.

"You have standards and protocols for a reason. All players have to adhere to them. I'd be breaching the confidentiality and trust of Kahn if I was to disclose it.

"I can assure you it's nothing overly serious, it's nothing outside the law, it's just a breach of protocol within the team. You live and die by the sword in our team. Everyone makes mistakes, but the bigger picture is that the team comes first."

It means last year's All Blacks tourist Andy Ellis regains the No.9 jersey for the match in Christchurch.

Meanwhile, Blackadder admitted the table-topping Bulls were taking a gamble by intending to rest a host of frontliners for their match against the Stormers.

Reports from South Africa suggest the Bulls, already assured of the top spot ahead of the final round, would rest up to 13 players for their trip to Cape Town, handing the Stormers an opportunity of finishing second and ensuring both semifinals are played in South Africa.

"I suppose the risk is you lose your cohesion, if you've been playing week in, week out, sometimes after a week off it can be hard to get back into the groove again. To rest 13 players I'd suggest they really want to freshen up and not risk injuries," Blackadder said.

"They could be a little bit tired and a little bit beaten up. It's a bit of a gamble, obviously you make these decisions based on a few factors and they feel it must be the right decision for them."

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