Injury blow as Canes head to SA
Injury blow as Canes head to SASHARE
The Hurricanes will depart New Zealand, en route to South Africa, on Saturday without the services of a back-up hooker in their 25-man squad.
It was confirmed that Hurricanes Motu Matu'u, who started at hooker in the 16-18 loss against the Stormers in Palmerston North on Friday, has been sidelined for at least six weeks after fracturing his arm.
Ash Dixon is now the only specialist No.2 in the squad, with Dane Coles already sidelined through injury.
Coach Mark Hammett said the process of finding another player will take some time.
"We would like to take another one over, but at the moment we're just in the process of checking a few hookers, obviously medicals, and then we'll decide within the next few days."
Manawatu hooker Rob Foreman and Taranaki No.2 Timo Tutavaha loom as the likely replacements, while prop Reg Goodes can provide cover.
Hammett said: "We'll come up with someone."
Southland hooker Jason Rutledge was called into the Hurricanes squad earlier this year before joining the Highlanders as cover.
* Meanwhile the Hurricanes have confirmed that Julian Savea will travel with them on their road trip.
The All Black wing stood himself down for their loss to the Stormers with an assault charge from a domestic incident hanging over his head.
However, he will be on deck for their two games in the Republic.
The Hurricanes left Wellington on Saturday for their two-week tour, with games against the Bulls in Pretoria and the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Hurricanes: Beauden Barrett, Tim Bateman, James Broadhurst, Ash Dixon, Jason Eaton, Ben Franks, Reggie Goodes, Jack Lam, Reynold Lee-Lo, Alapati Leiua, Faifili Levave, Karl Lowe, Ben May, TJ Perenara, Tusi Pisi, Matt Proctor, Mark Reddish, Julian Savea, Brad Shields, Conrad Smith, Chris Smylie, Andre Taylor, Jeremy Thrush, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Victor Vito.