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Casualty Ward Super Rugby Pacific Rd 1

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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Returned in Rd 1:

Caleb Muntz (Fijian Drua) – Was undertaking rehab from shoulder surgery but has been named in their last preseason hit out and rd 1.
Alex Mafi (Reds) – Apparently struggling with injuries in the off season. Returned via the bench for the Reds final trial and started rd 1. Thanks to Michael Atkinson for the insight.
Matt Toomua (Rebels) – Played rd 1 after being eased back into team training following last year’s concussion.

Bryn Evans (Highlanders) – Did not play in their first trial, this is only to manage his workload. Came off the bench in rd 1.
Marino Mikaele-Tu’u (Highlanders) – Played in the last trial and came off the bench in rd 1.
Fetuli Paea (Highlanders) – Injured his left arm/shoulder on the Feb 4th trial but played the next week.
Sam Gilbert (Highlanders) – Was pulled late from the trial of three halves due to his lower back seizing up. Recovered to start in rd 1.
Oli Jager (Crusaders) – Returned from a preseason injury in rd 1.
James Lentjes (Highlanders) – Missed the last trial after taking a knock to his neck during the week, started in rd 1.

Likely back this week (Rd 2):

Will Harrison (Waratahs) – Injured his AC joint (shoulder) putting a big tackle on during the trial against the Brumbies on Jan 29th. Expected back in rd 2. Source.

Connor Garden-Bachop (Chiefs) – Won’t be available until round two of Super Rugby Pacific as he returns from a wrist injury. Source.

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New Injuries (Rd 1):

The Chiefs V Moana Pasifika game has been delayed in rd 2. Source.

Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco (Waratahs) – We got wind of him having a hip injury before round 1. There is no published return date yet.
Lachie Swinton (Waratahs) – Hurt his shoulder late in the drought-breaking win over the Drua. Return date is TBC. Source.
James Ramm (Waratahs) – Suffered a rib injury. Targetting a return in round 3-4. Source.
Andrew Kellaway (Rebels) – Has a stress fracture in his foot. Expected to return in 2-3 weeks (rd 3-4).
Jordan Uelese (Rebels) – Looks to have injured his rib cartiledge, battled on for some time but they are slow to recover. Could be out for anywhere between 4-10 weeks in our opinion.
Hunter Paisami (Reds) – Ruled out of rd 1 after taking a knock on his knee. Should play round 2.
Liam Wright (Reds) – Suffered a right shoulder injury in rd 1, scans showed there was no severe damage but will still miss rd 2 with soreness. Source.
Josh Nasser (Reds) – Failed an HIA shortly after coming on to the field.
Bailey Kuenzle (Western Force) – Came off after 30 minutes after failing an HIA.

Naitoa Ah Kuoi (Chiefs) – Came off with a leg injury. We are unsure of the details yet.
Du-Plessis Kirifi (Hurricanes) – Came off with a hip pointer.
Tamaiti Williams (Crusaders) – Came off with a concussion.
Dalton Papalii (Blues) – Recovering from a head knock so won’t play in round 2. Source.
Akira Ioane (Blues) – Ruled out of round 2 late with a Lisfranc Injury. Apparently in a cast so we are fearing the worst, it could be the end of his Super Rugby season. 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 – Fractured his foot and will miss the first three months of Super Rugby. Source.
Pone Fa’amausili – Struggling with a calf injury. Expecting to return in the first few weeks of the competition. Source.
Rob Leota – Missing with an unknown injury to start the season.

Waratahs
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. Will be out until at least rd 11. 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.
Archer Holz – Has a thigh injury. Back in round 3-4. 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
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.
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.

Chiefs
Mitch Brown – Isn’t expected to be fit for the opening rounds after undergoing minor surgery. Source.

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.
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 – 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.

Blues
Beauden Barrett – Still suffering from concussion symptoms from the game against Ireland on November 14th. He is aiming to play in round 3 but it is far from a certainty with him only just starting to increase his part at training. 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.

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:

Alivereti Veitokani (Drua) – Has a major knee injury. Expected to return to rugby in 2023. Source.
Joey Walton (Waratahs) – 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.

Dillon Hunt (Blues) – Forced into early retirement due to Concussion. Source.
Patelesio Tomkinson (Highlanders) – 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 (Highlanders) – 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 (Highlanders) – Ruptured his ACL last August. Even a 9-month recovery wouldn’t have him back until May. Source.
Nathan Harris (Chiefs) – Has had to retire due to chronic ankle pain. Source.
Reuben O’Neill (Chiefs) – Out for the year. Thank you to Tom Vinicombe for the inside scoop.
Fraser Armstrong (Hurricanes) – Retired due to injury. Source.

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

Written by your local rugby nerd Harrison Dale.