James Mortimer 27.Jun.2012Getty Images
Both could conceivably be cleared fit to play the Hurricanes in Christchurch this weekend, but it is likely that two valuable Crusaders and All Blacks will be given more time to recover from their injuries.
After the match with the Hurricanes, the Crusaders head to Hamilton for a blockbuster against the Chiefs which could decide the New Zealand Conference.
Dagg has a sprained ankle, and while the custodian was confident he could play, he was wary of a long season and didn’t want to cause any serious damage.
However the livewire number 15 will be eager to get back onto the field, considering of late he has been rediscovering the form that had him displace Mils Muliaina as New Zealand’s senior fullback last season.
Read suffered a concussion in the second test against Ireland, the latest in a string of small injuries this year, from a bruised pelvis to a broken nose, and the number eight won’t rush back onto the field after being struck by headaches throughout last week.
With All Blacks captain Richie McCaw shifting to eight for the third test, one wouldn’t be surprised if the mercurial number seven again played at the back of the scrum to allow the vice-captain to be back fit for the Crusaders tilt towards an eighth title.
McCaw, despite leading the All Blacks for the first three tests of their World Championship reign, will suit back up for the seven-time Super Rugby winners immediately.
If Read is ruled out, expect a McCaw, Matt Todd and George Whitelock combination for the Crusaders in the back row.
The seven-time champions haven’t lost in Christchurch this season in five appearances, although they did lose their first ‘home’ match of the season, against the Chiefs in Napier in round three.