Casualty Ward Aotearoa Rd 2

Two weeks in and we are all well and truly addicted to our favourite footy code! This weeks Casualty Ward has only a few injuries, but we will keep the updates coming through teh week. 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 2):

Sione Mafileo (Blues) – Back on the bench for the Blues.
Vaea Fifita (Hurricanes) – Back having missed rd 1 with a toe injury. Source.
Ethan Blackadder (Crusaders) – Back via the bench after shoulder stabilisation surgery in October. Came on for Whetu Douglas with 25 minutes to play.
Sam Whitelock (Crusaders) – Back from his sabbatical to start for the Crusaders.
David Havili (Crusaders) – Had a foreign object removed from his stomach at the start of March. Got himself fit through the break to start via the bench. 

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Likely back this week (Aotearoa Rd 3):

Ngane Punivai (Highlanders) – Deemed fit to play this weekend. Source.
Alex Ainley (Crusaders) – The 38 year old lock comes in as an injury replacement for Scott Barrett who is gone for the season.

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New Injuries (Aotearoa Rd 2):

Brad Weber (Chiefs) – Forced off with a concussion so will go through their return to play protocols. Source.
Luke Jacobson (Chiefs) – Fractured his hand against the Blues. The recovery time for the injury is 5 to 6 weeks but the Chiefs are taking a cautious approach and don’t expect him to play this season. Source.
Braydon Ennor (Crusaders) – Didn’t come back on after half time due to a hamstring injury.

Kurtley Beale (Waratahs) – Won’t take any part in Super Rugby AU after being released early to take up his contract with Racing 92. Source.
Blake Enever (Brumbies) – Has been released by the Brumbies to return home to Brisbane immediately on compassionate grounds where he will continue his recovery from a lower leg injury. Source.Now confirmed he has signed for Leicester. Source.

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.

Ongoing Injury List:

NEW ZEALAND
Highlanders
Josh Ioane – Tore a muscle in his groin in training late before rd 1 and had to be pulled from the match day squad. Ruled out of rd 3 as well. Source.
Nehe Milner-Skudder – Hasn’t played rugby in 18 months after consecutive shoulder injuries. He is expected to play fullback and is targetting round 4 having not recovered for rd 3. Source.

Chiefs
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.
Mitchell Brown – Came off injured after only 22 minutes in rd 1. No more details yet.
Tyler Ardron – Ruled out as a late change before rd 1. No details as to what is wrong yet.
Sam Cane – Missed the first three weeks with a back injury. Had a cortisone injection after rd 2 to try and speed up his recovery. Making an assumption this means he has an irritated nerve, it often takes 6-12 weeks to fully recover so we might need see him for some time. Source.

Hurricanes
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. It is our opinion that an unstable shoulder injury takes a bare minimum of 4 weeks to rehab. Source.

Crusaders
Scott Barrett – Tore his plantar fascia in the intrasquad trial. Now confirmed he needs surgery and will miss the full Super Rugby season. There is no definite return time as the research is pretty limited, my expectation is roughly 6 months, but it could be double that. Source.

Blues
Blake Gibson – Took a head knock then came off after 30 minutes with ice on his hamstring in rd 1. Wasn’t fit for rd 2. Source.
Tom Robinson – Had a meniscal tear cleaned up in his knee after rd 1. Recovery said to be 6-8 weeks, they are targeting 5-6. Generally it varies from 1-12 weeks so it is hard to guess from the outside. Source.
Karl Tu’inukuafe – Aiming to return from a hamstring injury following the rd 4 bye. Playing club rugby in rd 3. Source.

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AUSTRALIA

Western Force
Get to know the squad here.

Brumbies
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.

Reds
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.

Rebels
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!

Waratahs
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.
Henry Speight (Reds) – Has been released from his contract to take up a 3 year contract with Biarritz, won’t play Super Rugby AU. Source.
Damien Fitzpatrick (Waratahs) – Retired from professional rugby before the AU season started. Source.

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

Written by your local rugby nerd Harrison Dale.