Casualty Ward Aotearoa Rd 1

How glorious was it having Super Rugby back on the weekend! With the return of the rugby, we also have plenty of new injuries. We endevour to list all known information, while also offering our own insights as a Physiotherapist and Podiatrist.

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Returned from injury (Aotearoa Rd 1):

Etene Nanai-Seturo (Chiefs) – Back from NZ 7’s via the bench.
Nepo Laulala (Chiefs) – Recovered from his knee injury to start the game.
Luke Jacobson (Chiefs) – Recovered from his concussion and neural hamstring injury to make a solid impact.
Tupou Vaa’i (Chiefs) – The 20 year old Taranaki lock made his debut this weekend and didn’t look out of place.
Beauden Barrett (Blues) – Was solid in the 15 jersey but surely would have a bigger impact at flyhalf.
Caleb Clarke (Blues) – The NZ 7’s winger had an outstanding game from start to finish.
Ardie Savea (Hurricanes) – Recovered from his knee surgery to come off the bench. Looked fit but didn’t have his usual impact in contact.
Vilimoni Koroi (Highlanders) – Started at fullback after a late injury to Ioane. Looked good with some touches but also copped a yellow card and made a few mistakes.
Sam Gilbert (Highlanders) – The NZ 7’s winger made his debut but didn’t have too big a game.

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Likely back this week (Aotearoa Rd 2):

Ethan Blackadder (Crusaders) – Shoulder stabilisatrion surgery at the end of October. Played in their intraclub match last week so should play this week.
Sam Whitelock (Crusaders) – Signed back on from his sabbatical to play SR Aotearoa. Source.

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New Injuries (Aotearoa Rd 1):

Josh Ioane (Highlanders) – Tore a muscle in his groin in training late before rd 1 and had to be pulled from the match day squad. No word on how severe it is yet. Source.
Mitchell Brown (Chiefs) – Came off injured after only 22 minutes. No more details yet.
Tyler Ardron (Chiefs) – Ruled out as a late change. No details as to what is wrong yet.
Vaea Fifita (Hurricanes) – Ruled out pregame with a toe injury. Cleared to return to training for rd 2. Source.
Blake Gibson (Blues) – Took a head knock then came off after 30 minutes with ice on his hamstring . Source.
Tom Robinson (Blues) – Awaiting scan results on a knee injury sustained on Sunday. We haven’t heard of any results but it is being reported he will be unlikely to play. Source.
Scott Barrett (Crusaders) – Misses round 2 with a foot injury. Source.

Damien Fitzpatrick (Waratahs) – Retired from professional rugby before the AU season started. Source.
Henry Speight (Reds) – Has been released from his contract to take up a 3 year contract with Biarritz, we aren’t sure if this will change his availability for Super Rugby AU. Source.

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New Players (AU):

Ben Hyne (Brumbies) – Signed for the Brumbies (from the Sunwolves) on a short term loan as an injury replacement for Neville. Source.
Mac Grealy (Reds) – Signed on as a replacement for Isaac Lucas, is said to be a teenage sensation on the wing and at fullback, was also the queensland schoolboy of the year in 2019. Source.
Josh Flook (Reds) – The outside centre captained the 2019 Australian Schools and U18s team, was named Queensland’s U19s player of the year in 2019. Source.
Kalani Thomas (Reds) – The halfback from the Australian Schools team that beat NZ last year. Lit up the GPS competition for Ipswich Grammar in 2019, scoring 7 tries, making 12 linebreaks and clocking 13 try assists in just eight games. Source.
Ryan Smith (Reds) – The 23 year old lock has been on the fringe of the Brumbies and Reds squads for a few years. As only the 4th lock remaining in the squad he is likely to play a few minutes. Source.
Lewis Holland (Rebels) – The former Australian 7’s captain is a star playmaker in the shorter format of the game. Originally a centre we would expect him to play 10, 12 or 15. Source.
Lachie Anderson (Rebels) – An Aussie 7’s player who formally played flanker, he has signed with the Rebels to compete for a backline spot. Source.
Jeral Skelton (Rebels) – Cousin of Will Skelton and Peter Betham, Jeral is seen as a freakish athlete that should play in the Rebels backline. Source.
Greg Holmes (Western Force) – The 37 year old prop has returned to play on short term contract for the Western Force. Source.
Jono Lance (Western Force) – Won Super Rugby tournaments with both the Reds and Waratahs before moving to the Worcester Warriors. The 29 year old
Kyle Godwin (Western Force) – Returning to the Force having plaid for Connacht for the last two years. The 27 year old should play at inside centre and fly half. Source
Ollie Atkins (Western Force) – The 31 year old, 2m tall lock, left Australia to play for both Edinburgh, the Exeter Chiefs and Scotland A. Source
Jordan Luke (Western Force) – Originally joined the Force squad as injury cover for Jonah Placid. We believe the Brisbane City winger will be hard pushed to get a start. Source.
Kane Koteka (Western Force) – The 26yr old West Australian flanker returns from playing in Japan’s Kaimashi Seawaves. Source.

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Ongoing Injury List:

Nehe Milner-Skudder – Signed on for the Highlanders but hasn’t played rugby in 18 months. Source. He is expected to play fullback and is targetting a round 3 or 4 return. Source

Nathan Harris – Had a rotator cuff (shoulder muscle) repair on the 15th of January. Out for at least six months and was set to miss all of Super Rugby. A chance to get a run during this season but we haven’t heard anything. Source.
Angus Ta’avou – Had an operation to repair his quad tendon. Is a chance to play the second half of the season. Source.
Sam Cane – Missed round 1&2 with a minor back injury. Source.

Jonah Lowe – Injured his shoulder in the Crusaders trial, the same one from 2019. No info about an expected return date. Source.
Kane Le’aupepe – Has had hip surgery in mid december to repair a torn labrum and remove a CAM impingement. He will be out for 5-6 months. It is worth noting that these injuries vary massively with return to sport time, it could really be 4-9 months! Source.
Jordie Barrett – Apparently suffered a shoulder injury, was a “50/50 chance for rd 2” but missed out. Source.

David Havili – Had a foreign object removed from his stomach at the start of March. Has put a lot of weight back on and is running around since mid May, but no firm return date has been set that we know of. Source.



Western Force
Get to know the squad here.

Toni Pulu – Had shoulder surgery early March, still wasn’t back training in mid May so unlikely to play anytime soon. Source.
Blake Enever – Was in Queensland mid May working his way back from a leg injury. Source.
Caderyn Neville – Expected to miss the first 2-3 weeks of the relaunched Super Rugby season after having ankle surgery in during the shutdown. Source.
Tom Banks – Managing a foot problem, but the Brumbies have tinkered with his training load to make sure he’s ready to burst back into action when the season gets the green light. Source.

Brandon Paenga-Amosa – Sprained his ankle rd 1, expected to be out for up to 8 weeks so should be fine for the new season. Source.
Moses Sorovi – Seen limping around on crutches during rd 4. Still injured in mid March. Source.
Hunter Paisami – Injured his MCL (knee) in rd 6 and was meant to miss at least a month. We assume he will be fine for SR AU Rd 1. Source.
Jordan Petaia – Dislocated his shoulder after round 2, has had shoulder surgery so would be back in August at the earliest.

James Tuttle – Ruptured his Achilles twice! First in October 2018, and again five months into his rehab. Was aiming to play a few weeks into the regular season, so hopefully will be competing for a spot in rd 1 of SR AU. Source.
Luke Jones – Sidelined with a back injury since rd 2, but was continually delayed, so who the hell knows from here!

Ned Hanigan – Was still out with concussion from the start of the season to the Covid break. Source.

Gone for the season:

Baden Wardlaw (Blues) – Forced to retire before the season due to a chronic neck fusion. Source.
Ray Niuia (Blues) – Has a knee injury that will cost him his season. Source.
Tanielu Tele’a (Blues) – Had a shoulder injury after round 6 and is out for the season. Source.
Stephen Perofeta (Blues) – Has been ruled out for the season, openning the door for Dan Carter to sign for the Blues. No more detail on his injury yet.
Ricky Jackson (Highlanders) – The hooker will miss the entire SR campaign with an ankle injury and operation. Nathan Vella brought in to replace him. Source.
James Lentjes (Highlanders) – Fracture dislocated his ankle in rd 5, will have surgery and is gone for the season. Expected recovery is 6-9 months. Source.
Connor Garden-Bachop (Highlanders) – Had an operation on his back due to return in June but his spot in the side has been taken. Source.
Tevita Nabura (Highlanders) – Still getting over an operation on his lower back after he suffered an injury at training just before Christmas, was expected back in April but his spot has been taken. Source.
Atu Moli (Chiefs) – Had FAI (hip impingement) surgery on both hips to treat chronic hip dysfunction. Will miss the entire season. Source.
Michael Allardice (Chiefs) – Gone for the season having undergone surgery for a shoulder reconstruction . Source.
Laghlan McWhannell (Chiefs) – Gone for the season having gone under the knife to have a patellar tendon debridement (this is not a good sign for such a young player). Source.
Sam McNicol (Chiefs) – Gone for the season after ankle surgery to correct his anterior impingement and clean up his joint surfaces. Source.

Les Leulua’iali’i-Makin (Brumbies) – ruled out of Super Rugby season after rupturing his Achilles on the 25th of January. Source.
Isaac Lucas (Reds) – Had his RA contract torn up after rejecting a pay cut from the Reds. Expected to sign for a Japanese rugby club. Source.
Harry Hockings (Reds) – Had his RA contract torn up after rejecting a pay cut from the Reds. Expected to sign for a Japanese rugby club. Source.
Izack Rodda (Reds) – Had his RA contract torn up after rejecting a pay cut from the Reds. Apparently he still might reverse his decision to leave. Source.

Have we missed something? Drop a comment or tweet and let us know.

Written by your local rugby nerd Harrison Dale.