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Casualty Ward Super Rugby AU Rd 1, Aotearoa pre-season

The Super Rugby AU season has started & the Aotearoa pre-season is in full throttle. As always, the Casualty Ward is keeping you up to date with all your injury news. We stay on top of all the latest news, with the added insights of our team’s Physiotherapist and Podiatrist.

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Returned from injury (AU Rd 1 & Aotearoa pre-season):

Nathan Harris (Chiefs) – Had a rotator cuff (shoulder muscle) repair on the 15th of January 2020. Played his first game back in the final trial.
Quinten Strange (Crusaders) – Suffered a chest injury in rd 10 and missed the back end of the year but came back in the trial.
Ethan Blackadder (Crusaders) – Hd a meniscus clean up in his knee after being scratched from rd 4 in 2020. Missed the season but started in the last trial.
Cullen Grace (Crusaders) – Ruled out of action for 6-8 weeks with a Bennett’s fracture (fractured thumb) that required an operation in rd 3. Started at No. 8 in the last trial.
Tom Robinson (Blues) – Had a meniscal tear cleaned up in his knee after rd 1. Captained his side in the final trial.
Tanielu Tele’a (Blues) – Had a shoulder injury after round 6 last year but played throughout the Mitre 10 and started at centre in the final trial.
Stephen Perofeta (Blues) – Was ruled out for last season but played through the Mitre 10 cup and started the trial at full back.
Nehe Milner-Skudder (Highlanders) – Played through the Mitre 10 cup after around 2 years out with injury and made his first start in the last trial.
Connor Garden-Bachop (Highlanders) – Had an operation on his back last year and missed the Super Rugby season. Came back in the Mitre 10 cup and played in both trials.
Josh Dickson (Highlanders) – Broke a bone in his lower leg in Aotearoa Rd 5 but made his comeback in Mitre 10 cup and played in the trials.
James Lentjes (Highlanders) – Fracture dislocated his ankle in February 2020, scored two tries in his comeback in the last trial.
Solomon Alaimalo (Highlanders) – Dislocated his shoulder in July, played in the 2nd preseason trial against the hurricanes.
Josh Ioane (Highlanders) – Was unavailable to play the trial on Feb 13th due to injury niggles, but recovered for the final trial.
Marino Mikaele-Tu’u (Highlanders) – Unavailable to play the trial on Feb 13th due to injury niggles. Recovered to play in the final trial.

Pete Samu (Brumbies) – Tweaked his AC joint in his shoulder in preseason. Was in doubt for round 1 but ended up starting at No.8.
Irae Simone (Brumbies) – Returned from injury to start at inside centre. Scored a great try.
David Porecki (Waratahs) – Pulled late from the Waratahs trial against the Reds with a neck issue but recovered to take his spot on the bench.
Jack Dempsey (Waratahs) – Had his appendix out in the offseason but recovered to start in rd 1.
James Ramm (Waratahs) – Has an ongoing groin injury that means he wasn’t able to run through the offseason. Started on the wing regardless.

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Likely back this week (AU rd 2, Aotearoa rd 1):

Fraser Armstrong (Hurricanes) – Came off as a precaution early in the trial against the Chiefs after taking a knock to the head. Not expected to be too serious but missed the last trial. Source.

Rob Leota (Rebels) – Broke a leg in Shute Shield last season but expected to be fit for the Rebels first game. Source.
Matt To’omua (Rebels) – Had only just returned to full training this week (Feb 15th) after suffering a hip flexor injury against the All Blacks last year, expected to be fit for the Rebels’ opening match. Source.
Solomone Kata (Brumbies) – Progressing well on his way back from a leg injury, expected to be available for round 2. Source.
Scott Sio (Brumbies) – Missed round 1 with a back complaint. Expecting he will play rd 2. Source.
Suliasi Vunivalu (Reds) – Was banned for rd 1 after pushing a bouncer at a night club. Expected to play this week. Source.
Brandon Paenga-Amosa (Reds) – Missed rd 1 with a neck injury. Source.
Tepai Moeroa (Waratahs) – Will overcome a knee niggle to be an option in rd 2. Source.
Lachie Swinton (Waratahs) – Will miss round 1 as he finishes his red card suspension from the international season.

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New Injuries (AU Rd 1, Aotearoa Pre-season):

Peter Umaga-Jensen (Hurricanes) – Missed the final trial while on paternity leave. Source.
Dane Coles (Hurricanes) – Missed the final trial as he works his way back from a recent run of injuries. No news on if he will be fit for rd 1. Source.
David Havili (Crusaders) – Came off in the first minute with a head knock and is doubtful for Aotearoa rd 1. Source.
Will Jordan (Crusaders) – Came off with a rib injury. Robertson is hopeful he will be right for rd 1. Source.
Samisoni Taukei’aho (Chiefs) – Left the field to receive medical attention. Source.
Finlay Christie (Blues) – Out with a leg injury. Source.
Alex Hodgman (Blues) – Out with a ankle injury. Source.
Fetuli Paea (Highlanders) – Came off with a bad looking ankle injury. Needed assistance to get off the field which would suggest he is gone for a minimum of 4-6 weeks. Source.
Jona Nareki (Highlanders) – Didn’t come back on in the second half as a precaution as they managed a niggle in the arch of his foot. Source.

Joey Walton (Waratahs) – Limped off with an ankle injury. Apparently worse than first thought, he will consult a specialist before a return date is set but he could miss the entire campaign. Source.
Jake Gordon (Waratahs) – His syndesmosis (high ankle) sprain in rd 1 has now been confirmed. They say he will miss 8 weeks which would have him back for the final SR AU game. Source.
Izaia Perese (Waratahs) – Got red-carded for a bad looking tip tackle. Banned for three weeks so he won’t play until round 6. Source.
Carlo Tizzano (Warratahs) – Apparently was struggling with hamstring soreness post-game. Source.
Kyle Godwin (Western Force) – Pulled pregame with an ankle injury on Wednesday. Apparently he has fractured it so he should be out for at least 8 weeks. Source.
Andrew Ready (Western Force) – Didn’t play because his partner was due to have a baby. Source.
Jeral Skelton (Rebels) – Had a plate inserted in a minor leg fracture. He will be out at least for four weeks. Source.
Folau Fainga’a (Brumbies) – succumbed to a toe injury. Source.

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Ongoing Injury List:


Western Force
Toni Pulu – Had shoulder surgery in early March 2020 and missed the full season. No word on his fitness yet but we would think he should be fit. Source.

Tom Wright – Suffered bone bruising during training in the first week of February. Expected to miss at least the first six weeks of Super Rugby AU. Source.

Lukhan Salakai-Loto – Still has two weeks to go on his ban from the end of last year so he won’t play until round 3.
Josh Flook – Dislocated his shoulder and had surgery in August. A 6 month return time would place him around late February. Source.
Liam Wright – Will miss up to 10 weeks of the season with a syndesmosis injury in the preseason trial against the Waratahs. Source.

Isi Naisarani – Expected to miss at least the Reds game (rd 2) after knee arthroscopy (clean up) showed far more extensive damage than was anticipated. He is fit but still building his quad strength. Source.
Dane Haylett-Petty – Still out with ongoing concussion symptoms since the test season last year. Source.
Cameron Orr – Out with a hamstring injury. Not sure of its severity. Source.
Campbell Magnay – Won’t play rd 2 due to a quad strain. Source.
Matt Gibbon – Still recovering from 2020 post-season surgery. Source.
Emosi Tuqiri – Out with a lower-body injury. Source.

Lalakai Foketi – Still recovering from a shoulder injury. No word on a return date at the moment. Source.
Robbie Abel – Has an ankle injury and isn’t back training two weeks out from round 1. Source.

Toni Brown has let out that there is no set plan to rest All Blacks this year – Source.

Pari Pari Parkinson – Suffered an ankle injury in rd 10 and had an operation, due back in April. Source.
Kazuki Himeno – Was stuck in Japan but now in NZ in isolation until February 22nd. Brown suggested he was aiming to play round 3. Source.
Sam Gilbert – Tore his ACL in rd 3 and will miss 9 months. Due back around April 2021. Source.
Ayden Johnstone – is unavailable as he recovers from a concussion he picked up while training for the North v South game last year. No definitive time has been put on his return. Source.
Liam Squire – Has been limping at training as he gets back into the big training load required. Should play in the “early rounds” but isn’t expected to be 100% fit at the start of the season. Expected to have his first hit out just before the season starts. Source.

Kini Naholo – Will miss the entire 2021 Super Rugby campaign with injury.
Atu Moli – Had FAI (hip impingement) surgery on both hips to treat chronic hip dysfunction. Missed the entire 2020 season. Source.
Laghlan McWhannell – Missed the 2020 season for both Super Rugby and the Mitre 10 cup having gone under the knife to have a patellar tendon debridement (this is not a good sign for such a young player).

Jamie Booth – Tore his MCL and PCL in his knee, plus fractured his tibial plateau (surface of his knee joint). Had an operation in October. I’d suspect he is about six months (April) to return as a minimum but Holland has said he could even miss the entire season. Source.

Braydon Ennor – Tore his ACL in the North V South game and is not due back until after SR Aotearoa. Source.
George Bridge – Recovering from a pec muscle repair in mid October. Said to be out for six months he should return by mid April. Source.
Manasa Mataele – Recovering from a pec muscle repair in mid October only a few days after Bridge. Said to be out for six months he should return by mid April. Source.
Tom Sanders – Fractured his cheek in the intrasquad match (Feb 6th we think), ruled out for 8-10 weeks. This would mean a rd 6 return at the earliest. Source.
Oli Jager – Injured his foot in the first trial against the Highlanders and limped off the field. Couldn’t put weight on it after the game.Source.

Ray Niuia – Had a knee injury that cost him his 2020 season. We assume he is back competing for a spot this year.
Soane Vikena – The NZ U20s hooker will miss the season with a shoulder injury from back in November. Source.
TJ Faiane – Listed as injured before the last preseason game. No other details yet. Source.
Dillon Hunt – Listed as injured before the last preseason game. No other details yet. Source.
Emoni Narawa – Listed as injured before the last preseason game. No other details yet. Source.
Jone Macalai – Listed as injured before the last preseason game. No other details yet. Source.
Josiah Maraku – Listed as injured before the last preseason game. No other details yet. Source.

Gone for the season:

Andrew Makalio (Crusaders) – has been ruled out of the 2021 Super Rugby season due to a neck injury. Source.
Jermaine Ainsley (Highlanders) – Ruled out for the majority of SR Aotearoa due to a high ankle sprain sustained the week before the first trial. Source.
Simon Hickey (Hurricanes) – Tore his ACL in preseason and will miss the entire 2021 season. Orbyn Leger is likely to get a full contract as injury cover. Source.
James Parsons (Blues) – Retiring on medical advice, after being out of the game for several months from a head injury. Source.

Julian Montoya (Western Force) – Couldn’t get a visa for his wife so is no longer join the Force. He is joining Leicester Tigers instead. Source.

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

Written by your local rugby nerd Harrison Dale.