All Black hooker Codie Taylor will miss the most of the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season after opting to take a sabbatical.
Taylor has already signed a contract with New Zealand Rugby and Super Rugby Crusaders until 2025 but now has opted to take a clause to manage his workload.
Incoming Crusaders head coach Scott Penny expects Taylor to be part of the long-term goal of the club and respects his decision to take a break.
“I suspect so,” Penney said.
“He has probably had the new All Blacks coach [Robertson] in his ear, having a discussion. And that's all good. Whatever Codie needs, and those [veteran] boys that have earned the right to be treated a bit more special, we will accommodate anything there.”
The 32-year-old has been part of Crusaders since 2013 and has won seven titles in as many years. He has overall featured for Crusaders in 129 games scoring 42 tries.
He is now expected to join the squad two or three weeks before the playoffs.
The club are also set to play their first season without Richie Mo'unga since 2015 with the All Blacks fly-half set to play the upcoming campaign with Toshiba Brave Lupus.