Blues scratch Retallick
Blues scratch RetallickSHARE
The Blues have withdrawn Culum Retallick from their squad for the upcoming Super Rugby season.
The veteran lock was expected to miss the majority if not all of the season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Blues coach John Kirwan said he is a big loss.
"Because he's a big, tall man as you know, but he's also got a lot of experience. So when you start looking around to replace actually that, it's pretty difficult," Kirwan said.
"So we're taking a little bit of time with it."
Kirwan said they've got a couple of replacement players in mind and hope to make a decision by the end of the week.
He said they see Patrick Tuipulotu and Liaki Moli as front of the line-out locks as they're hard-workers, but they need a taller lock for the middle of the line-out.
* Meanwhile prop Charlie Faumuina has started training with the Blues, two weeks before the All Blacks are scheduled to return.
Kirwan said a number of their All Blacks have popped into their facility over the last week, but it's great to have Faumuina back in a full-time capacity.
"Sometimes it's easier to come in and do the fitness work, and it takes a bit of pressure off you.
"It's pretty hard on these guys to train by themselves sometimes, so we're really happy to have them."
The Blues will play the Hurricanes in their opening Super Rugby pre-season game, in Masterton on Saturday, February 1.
They open their season proper against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday, February 22.
Source: Newstalk ZB