'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
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 01 May 2016
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 12h00 Sandy Park
London Irish v Harlequins 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons 14h15 Allianz Park
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 9 5 0 4 23
Brumbies 9 5 0 4 21
Waratahs 8 4 0 4 21
Reds 9 2 1 6 12
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
Hurricanes 9 6 0 3 31
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 4 1 3 20
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 29
Bulls 8 6 1 1 28
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4