All Blacks wing Sevu Reece won't return this season

All Blacks wing Sevu Reece will miss this year's World Cup with injury.

Reece suffered a serious knee injury in the Crusaders Super Rugby win over the Blues earlier this month and this morning it was confirmed he had ruptured his ACL and will be sidelined for the rest of 2023.

The Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said the 26-year-old wing won't be back this year.

"Sevu's out for the whole of the 2023 season. He's back in '24.

"We really feel for him. He's been incredible for us. It's a big loss.

"A lot of work will get him back to where he was beforehand, being a world class wing."

Robertson also confirmed All Blacks loose forward Ethan Blackadder will miss six weeks with a hamstring injury.

The defending champion Crusaders have seven All Blacks currently sidelined, forcing coach Scott Robertson to get an exemption from New Zealand Rugby for lock Scott Barrett to skip his All Blacks rest week and play this Friday's match against the Reds in Brisbane.

Out of action are All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock (broken hand), midfielders David Havili (shoulder) and Jack Goodhue (groin), winger Will Jordan (vestibular) and loose forward Cullen Grace (shoulder), Reece and Blackadder.

"It's part of playing rugby, and part of being an athlete," Robertson said.

"You'd like it to be a little bit more spread out, or not happen at all, but it's just part of it.

"You've just got to get around the guys that have had injuries. We'll make a big deal around it and make sure we support them all the way.

"It's tough, tough for them."