'Unwanted' Rutledge answers SOS

Mon, 18 Mar 2013 08:19
Large jason rutledge2 Large neil brew Large jason rutledge

Unwanted at the start of the season and 'loaned' to the Hurricanes just a week ago, hooker Jason Rutledge has become one of two veterans recalled by the Highlanders.

Unwanted at the start of the season and 'loaned' to the Hurricanes just a week ago, hooker Jason Rutledge has become one of two veterans recalled by the Highlanders.

The 35-year-old Southland hooker, Rutledge, and 34-year-old former Otago midfield back Neil Brew joined the Highlanders squad in Dunedin on Monday.

The franchise confirmed, in a statement, that Rutledge and Brew joined the Highlanders squad as injury cover for the next four to six weeks.

Rutledge, who made his debut for the Highlanders in 2004 and then after playing just two games did not return to the Highlanders until 2009 season, was axed from the Highlanders squad this season - with the 34-year-old Andrew Hore (as captain) and Rutledge's 24-year-old Southland teammate Brayden Mitchell were preferred.

Both Hore and Mitchell suffered injuries in the 19-23 loss to the Hurricanes last week, with Rutledge unused but part of the Hurricanes' wider squad.

Hore damaged rib cartilage early in the game against the Hurricanes, and Mitchell's collarbone was dislocated. It is believed they could both be sidelined for up to a six weeks.

Liam Coltman, a member of the wider training group of the Highlanders in 2011 but unused, is now the only hooker left standing in the squad - hence the recall of the popular and durable Rutledge.

While the recall of Rutledge is still understandable, given the injury situation, but the return of Brew is a genuine bolt from the blue.

He has not featured in the southern franchise in these parts since 2006, when he played the last of his 34 games for the Highlanders.

Brew, who also played for New Zealand Maori, spent a couple of seasons in England, playing for Bristol, and then went to Japan.

Brew provides cover for Tamati Ellison (shoulder injury, two to three months before his return) and Shaun Treeby (hamstring, four to six weeks).

All Black centre Ma'a Nonu (knee) is also expected to be available to play the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday.

No.8 Nasi Manu (foot, three to four months) is the other long-term casualty in the Highlanders, whose first few weeks in what was hoped to be a successful campaign have been extremely disappointing.

Hosea Gear is the Highlanders' vice-captain, but veteran lock Brad Thorn assumed the captaincy when Hore left the field against the Hurricanes, and it may be that Thorn gets the job on a semi-permanent basis.

Source: Otago Daily Times

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4