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Casualty Ward Super Rugby Pacific Pre-season

The Super Rugby Pacific season is warming up, which means the return of the Casualty Ward! The Casualty Ward is here to deliver 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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Returning for Round 1

Caleb Muntz (Fijian Drua) – Was undertaking rehab from shoulder surgery but has been named in their last preseason hit out. Source.
Alex Mafi (Reds) – Apparently struggling with injuries in the off season. Will return via the bench for the Reds final trial. Source. Thanks to Michael Atkinson for the insight.
Matt Toomua (Rebels) – Being slowly eased back into team training following last year’s concussion. Named to play in the Rebels final trial we assume he should be good for round 1. Source.

Bryn Evans (Highlanders) – Did not play in their first trial, this is only to manage his workload. Source.
Marino Mikaele-Tu’u (Highlanders) – Is back at training and is set to return for the sides second pre-season game. Source.
Fetuli Paea (Highlanders) – Injured his left arm/shoulder on the Feb 4th trial. He is playing in the last trial so we believe he is fine! Source.

Ongoing Injury List:

AUSTRALIA

Western Force
Nil

Brumbies
Rodney Iona – Tore his calf in the trial against the Waratahs on the 30th of January. We aren’t sure of the severity of the tear. Source.

Reds
Suliasi Vunivalu – Retore his hamstring during the Wallabies season. Apparently he will miss the first 4-5 weeks. Source.
Isaac Henry – Will be out for the first month of the Super Rugby Pacific season after he broke a bone in his foot at training. Source.
Richie Asiata – Broke his arm in the Reds trial and is due to have surgery on the 7th of Feb. Source.

Rebels
Trevor Hosea – We have heard that he fractured his foot and won’t be back for the first few weeks of Super Rugby.
Pone Fa’amausili – We have heard rumours that he is struggling with a calf injury. We are trying to confirm this.

Waratahs
Joey Walton – Has done his second ACL in only his second session back for the Waratahs back in October 21. Will miss the entire SR Pacifika season. Source.
Ned Hanigan – Playing in Japan until the end of their 2022 season in May.
Mosese Tuipulotu – The young centre is injured and won’t be available to play. We don’t know the extent of the injury. Source.
Michael Hooper – Has a Lis Franc injury in his foot from November that will keep him out of the first few rounds of SR Pacific. Source. Also has a negotiated leave period in his contract for this year and is due back by round 5 or 6. Source.
Will Harrison – Injured his AC joint (shoulder) putting a big tackle on during the trial against the Brumbies on Jan 29th. Expected to miss the first 2-4 weeks of Super Rugby. Source. Newer reports say he is in a race against the clock for round 1, but we think this might be ambitious. Source.
Lalakai Foketi – Suffered a hamstring injury in the Reds trial. Is in major doubt for the opening game against the Fijian Drua. Source.

NEW ZEALAND
The All Blacks are on leave until early February. Although not confirmed, this may delay their entry into the SR Pacific competition.

Highlanders
Patelesio Tomkinson – will miss the entirety of the inaugural Super Rugby Pacific season after injuring his foot while playing for Otago. Vereniki Tikoisolomone has been called up as his replacement. Source.
Pari Pari Parkinson – Suffered a “multi-ligament knee injury” in November 2021 (this will be ACL plus others). He won’t be back for roughly twelve months. Source.
Jona Nareki – Ruptured his ACL last August. Even a 9-month recovery wouldn’t have him back until May. Source.
Billy Harmon – Had a right shoulder operation in October that will keep him out until April. Source.
Solomon Alaimalo – Tony Brown said he was again unavailable due to personal reasons. There is no timeframe on his return. Source.
Connor Garden-Bachop – Won’t be available until round two of Super Rugby Pacific as he returns from a wrist injury. Source.
Ayden Johnstone – Is recovering from glandular fever so won’t play in the first trial. Source.
Rory van Vugt – Broke his wrist in the trial of three halves on the 12th Feb. We suspect he will be out for six weeks. Source.
Christian Lio-Willie – Broke his hand in the lead up to their final trial. We suspect he will be out for roughly the first four weeks of Super Rugby. Source.
Sam Gilbert – Was pulled late from the trial of three halves due to his lower back seizing up. It’s hard to predict how long it will take to settle without more information. Source.
James Lentjes – Missed the last trial after taking a knock to his neck during the week. Source.

Chiefs
Nathan Harris – Has had to retire due to chronic ankle pain. Source.
Mitch Brown – Isn’t expected to be fit for the opening rounds after undergoing minor surgery. Source.
Reuben O’Neill – Out for the year. Thank you to Tom Vinicombe for the inside scoop.

Hurricanes
Owen Franks – The returning All Black was originally said to miss the entire season with an Achilles rupture and repair. Source. Now he is aiming to return on April 8th against the Hurricanes. Source.
Isaia Walker-Leawere – In doubt for most of the season with a shoulder injury. Source.
Fraser Armstrong – Retired due to injury. Source.
Dominic Bird – Is nursing an injury and is expected to miss the start of the season. Source.
TJ Perenara – Suffered an MCL injury on the 8th of Feb. He was spotted in a brace meaning he is a grade 2-3 injury. They have said he is aiming to return in a month, but there is a good chance in our opinion it could be six weeks. Source.
Cam Roigard – Suffered a shoulder injury in the preseason which has lead to injury cover being called in to the squad. We aren’t sure how long he is out, but it doesn’t sound good. Source.
Nehe Milner-Skudder (Hurricanes) – Suffered a concussion in the Crusaders trial on Feb 12th. Will have to go through concussion protocols. Source.

Crusaders
Jack Goodhue – Ruptured his ACL in April 2021. It sounds like he is targeting a 12-month return, meaning he will a large amount of SR Pacifika. Source.
Richie Mo’Unga – Has a clause in his contract to miss as many as 6 Super Rugby games this year if he chooses to. Apparently he will miss the first three rounds. Source.
Ethan Blackadder – Will miss the first three games with a hamstring injury. Source.
Waisake Naholo – Was set to travel with the team to Queenstown, but tweaked his hamstring at training on the 8th of Feb. Source.
Oli Jager – The 26-year-old is currently sidelined with injury so will miss the start of the season. Source

Blues
Beauden Barrett – Still suffering from concussion symptoms from the game against Ireland on November 14th. They have now said he won’t be ready for round 1. With concussion being so hard to predict we aren’t as sure as he is. Source. Will join the squad this week and could be cleared to face his old Wellington-based outfit in week two. Source.
Dillon Hunt – Forced into early retirement due to Concussion. Source.

PACIFIKA TEAMS

Fiji Drua
Teti Tela – is undertaking light training only as he recovers from an Achilles tendon rupture. By the time he is ready to take part in full training, it will be pretty close to the start of the season. Source.
Alivereti Veitokani – Has a major knee injury. Expected to return to rugby in 2023. Source.

Moana Pasifika
Solomone Kata – Injured his ankle in their first trial against the Chiefs. We don’t know how long he will be out for yet.

Gone for the season:

To be completed once the season commences.

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

Written by your local rugby nerd Harrison Dale.