Mealamu cut down by calf again

Tue, 11 Mar 2014 07:33
Large kevenmealamubluestraining

Blues hooker Keven Mealamu has been forced to return home early from South Africa with a calf injury that is likely to cause All Blacks coach Steve Hansen some concern as well.

Blues hooker Keven Mealamu has been forced to return home early from South Africa with a calf injury that is likely to cause All Blacks coach Steve Hansen some concern as well.

The veteran forward has battled calf injuries for the last three seasons and sustained another strain to his left leg ahead of the Super Rugby match against the Bulls in Pretoria last week.

He was a late withdrawal from that game and Blues coach John Kirwan said Mealamu, who turns 35 next week, had not recovered sufficiently for their clash with the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

"It's a real blow for us," Kirwan said in a statement. "He just got a little strain in his calf and when you're a front rower that's like a sprinter having a hamstring problem.

"So we're just erring on the side of caution because we want to make sure Kevvie is with us for most of the season.

"We've decided to protect him a wee bit, send him home and not take the risk because if he blows it he'll be out for 12 or so weeks."

Mealamu said the strain was at the lower end of the injury scale and hoped to be fit to play South Africa's Cheetahs at Eden Park on March 22.

"I'm really gutted that I'm not able to stay on with the team," Mealamu said.

"It's just one of those things, I really want to help the team out but I can't do that unless I'm one hundred per cent.

"I'm hoping to be back for the Cheetahs game so I'm close to being back out there, I just want to make sure its right."

Mealamu's continuing battle with his lower legs will be of concern to Hansen, who will be hoping to have a good idea of his squad for the 2015 World Cup in England by the end of this season.

Fellow veteran Andrew Hore retired from professional rugby after the end-of-year tour to Europe, requiring Hansen to blood a new Test hooker in 2014.

The Hurricanes' Dane Coles has been anointed as the likely successor to Hore but none of the other Super Rugby level hookers have looked up to international standard yet

That has left Hansen reliant on Mealamu being able to make it through to the global showpiece in late 2015.

The All Blacks host England in a three-test series in June, with Stuart Lancaster's young side looming as a threat to the world champions' title defence in 18 months time.

AFP

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Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19