Walking wounded: Blues' injury-list climbs to 18

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:00
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: With half of their squad on the injury list including five for the season, the Blues continue to be on the search for replacements approaching their Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders.

Currently, 18 players will not be considered for selection for Friday’s match at Eden Park, with six of these out for the season and a further still sidelined for several more weeks.

The latest to join the walking wounded are fullback Michael Collins, who has broken a bone in his hand and out for around five weeks, and lock Josh Goodhue out for up to a month with an AC joint injury. Both suffered the injuries in the weekend win over the Sunwolves in Tokyo.

With seven midfield and outside backs out of action, the Blues promoted Northland wing Jordan Hyland after some strong performances for the Blues Development side. He made the most of his opportunities with two tries against the Sunwolves on debut.

New Zealand Under-20 representative Orbyn Leger, initially called in pre-season as a short-term replacement, has not only remained but impressed with his starting debut in Japan, coming in with both Sonny Bill Williams and George Moala injured.

The other to receive a late call-up with young Auckland lock Ben Neenee, who made his debut in Japan and is likely to be called on again with locks Scott Scrafton, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti and now Goodhue on the injured list.

"It seems all the New Zealand Super teams are suffering from a high attrition rate and we are no different," said Blues head coach Tana Umaga. "It is testing the depth of the playing resources around the country as we have seen this week with the likes of Sam Prattley called into the Chiefs.

"It is testing our depth and our resources but at the same time, it is giving opportunities to others.

"It is challenging to build momentum when we are changing so many players and now bringing in new faces but we are fortunate that our Development team coaches have done such a great job with the next layer of players,"

The injury list includes Otere Black (knee - season), Blake Gibson (shoulder), Glenn Preston (groin, season), Sonny Bill Williams (wrist), Augustine Pulu (foot), Alex Hodgman (wrist), Scott Scrafton (leg - season), Daniel Kirkpatrick (ribs), Melani Nanai (ankle), Jordan Trainor (hand), Matt Johnson (surgery - season), Jerome Kaino (hamstring), George Moala (chest – season), Josh Goodhue (shoulder), Tamati Tua (hand), Gerard Cowley-Tuioti (knee), Caleb Clarke (appendicitis), Michael Collins (hand).

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14