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Injuries

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Derick MinnieEmirates Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has announced his team for Saturday’s clash against the Toyota Cheetahs at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.

Ackermann has made just 3 changes to the starting side which beat the Cell C Sharks a fortnight ago.

In the forwards, Armand “Akker” van der Merwe will start at hooker while Ruan Dreyer has been drafted in at tighthead prop.

The backline sees just 1 change, with Courtnall Skosan starting at left wing, having recovered from injury.

On the bench, MB Lusaseni also moves into the match day 23, having recovered from his long-term injury. This is his 1st inclusion in the 2015 competition.

Unfortunately Derick Minnie drops out of the match day 23 as a result of an injury he sustained during Tuesday’s training session. Minnie has undergone surgery on his knee and will unfortunately be out of action for the remainder of the season.

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EnglandA government drive to boost participation in rugby in English schools is ill-conceived and risks children getting seriously hurt, public health doctors have warned.

Prof Allyson Pollock and colleagues at Queen Mary University of London say the contact sport is too dangerous.

They do not want an outright ban but say the sport must change and safeguards are needed.

The Rugby Football Union said steps had been taken to make the sport safer.

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Kobus van Wyk

Kobus van Wyk

Hard-running Stormers wing Kobus van Wyk has been ruled out of action for 6 weeks, after picking up a patella injury against the Force last weekend.

Van Wyk limped off the field in the 29th minute of Saturday’s hard-fought clash in Perth and he will be unavailable until June.

Fellow wing Dillyn Leyds sat out training on Tuesday, but squad captain Duane Vermeulen – fresh off his 2-week rest period – rejoined squad training at the Stormers’ High Performance Centre in Bellville.

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Willie le Roux

Willie le Roux

The Cheetahs have been dealt another blow with the news that Willie le Roux could face an extended period on the sidelines.

The Springbok fullback is suffering from an ankle injury, and it is reported that he could be out for up to 5 weeks.

Le Roux didn’t feature against the Reds last weekend as he was being rested, so it’s unclear when he suffered the injury.

His absence would be a major blow for the Bloemfontein outfit, which has already lost Heinrich Brüssow for the season to a broken arm.

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Jason Woodward

Jason Woodward

After suffering their 1st defeat of the campaign, the Hurricanes have taken a 2nd blow as Jason Woodward’s season was prematurely ended by a broken ankle.

The outside back suffered the injury playing club rugby for Upper Hutt against Oriental Rongotai in Wellington over the weekend.

While the former Rebel has just 3 Super Rugby appearances to his name this year, his loss will be a blow to the depth of the Hurricanes’ formidable backline that has set the competition alight in the 1st half of the season.

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Rudy Paige

Rudy Paige

Vodacom Bulls halfbacks Rudy Paige and Jacques-Louis Potgieter will not be considered for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby match against the DHL Stormers in Cape Town due to injury.

Paige has a grade 1 medial ligament tear and will be out of action for at least 2 weeks, whilst Potgieter have a grade 1 hamstring tear and will be ready to return to action on 4 May, team doctor Org Strauss confirmed on Monday.

Burger Odendaal (hamstring), Bjorn Basson (knee), Flip van der Merwe (knee) and Arno van Wyk (bronchitis) sat out in training on Monday, with Odendaal only returning Thursday.

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Kobus van Wyk

Kobus van Wyk

Right wing Kobus van Wyk is the only Stormers injury worry after Saturday’s Super Rugby win over the Force, having twisted his knee.

“Kobus went over his knee, it was an awkward sort of twist on his knee… but we will know more over the next 24 hours and will be able to say for sure when we get home,” said coach Allister Coetzee.

Accoridng to the Stormers’ website, the Stormers left Perth for South Africa on Sunday evening (local time). They arrived in Cape Town, via Johannesburg, on Monday morning (local time).

The players did not train on Monday, before starting preparations for next weekend’s home Bulls match (kick-off 19:10 SA Time) on Tuesday.

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Heinrich Brüssow

Heinrich Brüssow

The Toyota Cheetahs suffered a massive blow when flank Heinrich Brüssow suffered an arm injury in their defeat to the Reds in Bloemfontein at the weekend.

The openside flank left the field in the 14th minute of the match at the Free State Stadium, and coach Naka Drotske has since confirmed that the Springbok has broken his arm.

More clarity about the severity of the injury will be known on Monday, but Brüssow will in all likelihood sit out the rest of the competition.

Fullback Coenie van Wyk also suffered an ankle injury and according to reports, is likely to be ruled out for about 6 weeks.

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Aaron Cruden, injured on the weekend and out for the season

Aaron Cruden, injured on the weekend and out for the season

The Chiefs and All Blacks were delivered devastating news in the context of their 2015 campaigns on Monday when it was confirmed Aaron Cruden had ruptured his left anterior cruciate ligament.

The star playmaker will visit a surgeon on Wednesday to arrange a knee re-construction which is expected to keep him sidelined for 6 months.

In a brief statement issued on Monday afternoon, the Chiefs confirmed that Cruden would undergo traditional surgery “given Aaron’s young age and long-term career prospects.”

Cruden’s Super Rugby season is definitely over and his Rugby World Cup has been thrown into doubt as even a best-case recovery within that 6 month window would only see him fit in the final fortnight of the tournament.

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Josh Hohneck

Josh Hohneck

The New Zealand Rugby Union are reconsidering their concussion procedures after a Highlanders player remarkably returned to the field in a Super Rugby game last weekend.

Highlanders prop Josh Hohneck was knocked out in their victory over the Crusaders in Round 9 of Super Rugby last weekend.

The 29-year-old was on the receiving end of a substantial blow during his attempt to tackle Crusaders loose forward Jordan Taufua early in the 1st half of the match in Christchurch.

Hohneck fell to the ground, but after receiving medical attention he managed to regain his feet and stumbled off the park for a concussion test.

He reportedly flew through the test and was therefore allowed to return to the field less than 10 minutes later, at which time both Referee Glen Jackson, and Crusaders scrumhalf Andy Ellis questioned the decision.

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Ryan Crotty

Ryan Crotty

Ryan Crotty has been ruled out of the Crusaders’ clash with the Chiefs as a precautionary measure, after he suffered a head knock against the Highlanders last weekend.

It is not all bad news for the Crusaders though, as star flyhalf Dan Carter could well fill the vacant No 12 spot after appearing off the bench against the Highlanders.

Injuries have played their part in marring the All Black playmaker’s season thus far, but he should be fit enough to start on the weekend.

Crotty’s absence is also offset by the return of loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett and lock Luke Romano, who were rested for the Highlanders’ game.

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Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes

Utility forward Michael Rhodes will return home from the DHL Stormers’ Vodacom Super Rugby tour of Australasia after suffering a hamstring tear in his team’s 32 / 18 bonus point win over the Waratahs at the weekend.

The tough-tackling forward was forced to leave the field in the 33rd minute on Saturday and he now faces a 6 to 8 week lay-off – Rhodes’s 2nd injury blow of the season after picking up a knee injury against the Lions in late February.

Rhodes will be replaced in the DHL Stormers tour party by DHL Western Province Vodacom Cup star Sikhumbuzo Notshe, who left for Perth late on Sunday evening.

DHL Stormers boss Allister Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website: “Michael has a Grade 2 or 3 hamstring tear and will be out of action for at least 6 weeks.

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Matt Toomua

Matt Toomua

The Brumbies are facing a test of their squad depth after their Super Rugby defeat on Friday against the Blues.

ACT and Wallaby pivot Matt Toomua has been sidelined for 4 to 6 weeks with an ankle syndesmosis injury suffered in their 14 / 16 loss the Auckland outfit.

The in-form Brumbies prop Scott Sio, who was replaced just after halftime, suffered a knee medial ligament strain.

Sio is staring down the barrel of 6 to 8 weeks out with only 9 Rounds of the Super Rugby regular season remaining.

Inside centre Christian Lealiifano is the likely candidate to take the reins at flyhalf for their upcoming fixture against the Melbourne Rebels, while South African born JP Smith is set to replace Sio at prop.

Utility back James Dargaville, who is a convert from flank to wing, is to undergo scans to identify whether he has broken bones in his foot, which could potentially result in a similar recovery period to Sio.

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BlitzbokkeThe Springbok Sevens have returned to South Africa following their participation in the latest rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

The squad underwent their usual medical assessment at their training camp on Wednesday, and apart from Philip Snyman and Stephan Dippenaar who both returned home with injuries last week from the Far East, no further injuries were reported.

Snyman sustained a knee ligament injury on the 2nd day in Hong Kong and he was replaced by Carel du Preez, who made his Springbok Sevens debut in Tokyo. The estimated recovery period for Snyman is 4 to 6 weeks.

His team-mate Stephan Dippenaar, meanwhile, picked up a mild hamstring injury on the last day of the Hong Kong event and was replaced by Ruhan Nel. He is expected to be back in action in 2 to 4 weeks.

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Willem Alberts

Willem Alberts

The Cell C Sharks have been boosted by the news that Springbok loose forward Willem Alberts has returned to training and will be available for selection this weekend.

Alberts missed the 1st few matches of the Super Rugby season with injury and returned to action in the game against the DHL Stormers on 7 March. He then suffered another injury setback in the game at Newlands which saw him spend more time on the sidelines.

However, according to the Sharks’ official website, Alberts has now recovered sufficiently and will be available to face the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg this weekend.

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Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield

The Vodacom Bulls medical staff on Tuesday confirmed that lock Victor Matfield will undergo surgery on his injured knee (right) and will be out of action for 3 to 4 weeks.

According to Vodacom Bulls doctor Org Strauss, Matfield is going into surgery tomorrow (Wednesday) for an arthroscopy on the knee to fix up damaged cartilage.

Matfield could have played the season without undergoing the procedure, but the decision was made as a precautionary measure building towards the World Cup.

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Patrick Lambie

Patrick Lambie

Cell C Sharks and Springbok flyhalf Patrick Lambie has been ruled out for 6 weeks, following a neck injury sustained against the Crusaders in their humiliating defeat by the Crusaders in Durban during Round 8 of Super Rugby.

Lambie has suffered a neck vertebrae injury, which saw him leave the field and replaced by Fred Zeilinga during the game on the weekend.

The Sharks have now lost no less than 4 leaders, with regular skipper Bismark Du Plessis still suspended, as is Frans Steyn.

Jean Deysel has received a hefty 7 week suspension for his deliberate knee to the head of Crusaders flank Matt Todd, and now the crucial blow of Lambie.

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Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield

The Vodacom Bulls will get a number of Springboks back this week, but there is growing concern over the knee injury of veteran lock Victor Matfield.

Matfield will only know on Tuesday when he will play again.

He was originally listed as being ‘rested’ for the encounter with the Lions last week, but it has since emerged that the knee injury was the real problem.

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Jake Schatz

Jake Schatz

Quade Cooper

Quade Cooper

Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper and No 8 Jake Schatz have been ruled out of the side’s 2-week tour of South Africa, after suffering injuries in Friday night’s loss to the Melbourne Rebels in Melbourne.

Cooper fractured his scapula making a tackle, while Schatz ruptured a tendon in his elbow after his arm was caught in an awkward position in a ruck. Cooper will be sidelined for up to 8 weeks, while Schatz will be reviewed in 4 weeks.

The Reds head to Johannesburg this Sunday and head coach Richard Graham said he would take the next 24 hours to make a decision as to who would join the 27-man squad for the tour.

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BullsVodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made 2 changes to his starting pack for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg and also had to replace pivot Handré Pollard, who did not recover in time from a knee contusion.

Jacques-Louis Potgieter will start at No 10 and is the only change to the backline that ran on against the Crusaders last week. Potgieter is returning to action following a hamstring strain that kept him out for 3 weeks.

Grant Hattingh (for Victor Matfield) and Dean Greyling (for Morné Mellett) will start in the pack.

Both played off the bench last weekend.

Hattingh’s spot on the bench will be taken by Roelof Smit and Greyling swops places with Mellett, who will play of the bench. Matfield is rested (as is Jan Serfontein).

Callie Visagie makes his return to the squad following a back injury.

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Emirates LionsThe Emirates Lions were dealt a setback when it was revealed that lock Martin Muller has been ruled out of Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Vodacom Bulls at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.

Muller sustained a calf tear during his team’s win over the Reds in Brisbane and will be out of the side for Saturday’s clash.

The news has been tempered with MB Lusaseni’s return to action, while Andries Ferreira is also available.

Also ruled out of the clash is winger Courtnall Skosan, with an ankle injury whilst flyhalf / fullback Jaco van der Walt has a fractured cheekbone.

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Laurie Weeks

Laurie Weeks

Laurie Weeks has avoided surgery after injuring his knee in Friday’s loss to the Hurricanes, however the foundation Rebel will be sidelined for 6 to 8 weeks after scans confirmed a fracture of his left tibial plateau.

The news was bitter-sweet for the club, pleased he had avoided a season-ending injury but also disappointed to lose Laurie for an extended period.

“We call Laurie ‘Mr Rebel’,” Head of Athletic Performance Bryce Cavanagh explained. “He is a wonderful, positive influence on the group, and his experience is invaluable; we’ll miss that on the field.

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Carel du Preez

Carel du Preez

The Springbok Sevens have called up uncapped Carel du Preez to replace injured forward Philip Snyman for the Tokyo Sevens tournament which take place this coming weekend.

The versatile Snyman sustained a knee ligament injury while playing for the Springbok Sevens on Saturday in Hong Kong.

Du Preez is currently contracted to the SA Sevens Academy and he has already played a couple of times for the Academy at tournaments in George, Dubai and Harare.

The tall loose forward represented DHL Western Province in the Under 21 ABSA Currie Cup competition last year and he has impressed the SA Sevens coaching staff since his fulltime switch to the shorter code at the end of last year.

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Jean Cook

Jean Cook

The Toyota Cheetahs received another injury setback as they look for some redemption on their Vodacom Super Rugby tour of Australasia, with flanker Jean Cook heading home as another casualty of the tough 2 weeks in New Zealand.

The Cheetahs face the Brumbies on Saturday in their 3rd tour game – traditionally the toughest week on tour – and will need to choose a new loose trio again if they are to make any headway and return home with some points.

Cook has a groin injury and has already left for home. He will see a specialist back in Bloemfontein to ascertain the extent of the injury.

But he is the 2nd loose forward in as many weeks to suffer the same injury, after Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje returned home and is out for up to 12 weeks with a similar injury. Mohoje underwent an operation last week to put him back on the road to recovery.

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Manu Tuilagi

Manu Tuilagi

England centre Manu Tuilagi is set to miss the rest of the Aviva Premiership season because of a groin injury but should be fit for the World Cup, his Leicester Tigers coach Richard Cockerill said.

The 23-year-old, who has won 25 caps and scored 11 tries for England, is still recovering from the injury he sustained in October.

England’s World Cup campaign begins against Fiji on 18 September, but they play France at home and away in August before hosting Ireland at Twickenham on 5 September.

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Teboho Mohoje

Teboho Mohoje

The Toyota Cheetahs were given a massive setback Wednesday when their worst fears about the injury to Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje filtered through.

Mohoje tore his groin muscle in the big loss in Christchurch against the Crusaders on Saturday and will need surgery as soon as possible.

The big Springbok flanker has already left the side en route back to Bloemfontein to see a specialist and prepare for the surgery, but the initial diagnosis is that he will be out for at least 8 to 12 weeks.

The Cheetahs have called up Shimlas flanker Tienie Burger to join the side but it is clear Mohoje’s injury has hit them hard.

The Bok is unlikely to play again in this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby competition, although depending on his rehabilitation there is a slight chance he could return to the field for the last 2 games of their campaign… all of which creates another headache for Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

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Burger Odendaal

Burger Odendaal

Vodacom Bulls midfielder Burger Odendaal will return to training today after a successful rehabilitation phase on a meniscal knee injury which saw him miss the opening part of the Vodacom Super Rugby season.

Odendaal will find a number of team mates missing on Monday though, as Jan Serfontein (stiff hip flexor), Marcel van der Merwe (contusion)and Dean Greyling (neck) will only return to the training field on Tuesday and Roelof Smit (ankle) and Lappies Labuschagne (nasal fracture) only on Thursday.

Amongst the longer term injuries, Jacques-Louis Potgieter (1 week, hamstring), Flip van der Merwe (pectoral, 2 weeks) and Akona Ndungane (hand, 3 weeks) are a week closer to returning to the fold.

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Tevita Kuridrani

Tevita Kuridrani

The Brumbies have been left with a gap in the midfield following news that destructive outside centre Tevita Kuridrani will be sidelined for 2 months with a shoulder injury.

It is just the second major blow to the Brumbies’ injury list this season.

Scans suggested Kuridrani damaged his AC joint in the 13 / 28 loss to the Waratahs at the weekend.

The skilful Wallaby centre will luckily avoid surgery and that could mark an earlier return to the field if his rehabilitation goes well.

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Dom Shipperley

Dom Shipperley

The Melbourne Rebels will be without winger Dom Shipperley until at least Round 11 in Super Rugby after he fractured his hand playing against the Emirates Lions.

Rebeles winger Shipperley suffered the injury in the Rebels 20 / 16 loss to the Lions at AAMI Park on Friday and will be sidelined for an estimated 4 – 6 weeks.

Shipperley, who was making his 50th Super Rugby appearance, has started all 5 games for the Rebels this season since moving to Melbourne, however he will now be ruled out until at least Round 11 after undergoing surgery.

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Ardie Savea

Ardie Savea

Hurricanes flank Ardie Savea will be sidelined for up to 6 weeks after dislocating his finger in Friday’s 20 / 13 win over the Highlanders.

Hurricanes assistant coach Clark Laidlaw said 21-year-old Savea had an operation on Saturday, and would be out for between 3 to 6 weeks.

“He dislocated his finger and it popped out the side, so he had to get it pushed back in and tidied up,” Laidlaw said on Monday.

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Cell C SharksThe Sharks have made only 1 enforced change to their starting line-up that will face the Chiefs on Saturday, as Marco Wentzel comes into the second-row.

Wentzel replaces the injured Pieter-Steph du Toit in an otherwise unchanged 15, with Daniel du Preez and Waylon Murray named on the replacements bench.

“The Chiefs are a championship outfit with outstanding strength and depth and they will go into this match as favourites. They have a strong pack of forwards and one of the most exciting backlines in the competition and are well coached,” said head coach Gary Gold, whose side are looking to back up last weekend’s victory.

“We look forward to the challenge of measuring ourselves against one of the most dangerous sides. It’s going to be an exciting match-up.”

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Quade Cooper

Quade Cooper

Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper has revealed he will be available for the team’s next match against the Lions in Round 7 of Super Rugby.

The playmaker has been out with a fracture collarbone that forced him to miss the Reds’ first five games of the season.

Cooper hasn’t been alone on the sidelines for the Reds as a number of key players have been unavailable, with the 26-year-old joined by James O’Connor, Greg Holmes, Samu Kerevi and Beau Robinson among others. All are expected to be available for next weekend.

“For me, I’ve been preparing for this day for a long time,” Cooper said.

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HurricanesThe Hurricanes will be without hooker Dane Coles for Friday’s Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders but 2 other All Blacks return to the starting 15.

Coles was originally named in the starting for 15 for the game in Dunedin but was withdrawn as a precaution, following Wednesday’s training session with a hyper-extended elbow.

He has been replaced in the run-on side by Motu Matu’u, with Brayden Mitchell coming onto the bench.

There are 3 other changes to the team that beat the Blues last week.

Jeremy Thrush comes back into the starting line-up and will pair with Blade Thomson in what will be his 1st start at lock for 2015, while Cory Jane replaces Matt Proctor on the right wing.

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Western ForceWestern Force utility back Marcel Brache is no stranger to Loftus Versfeld. That is why he feels the men from Perth requires a ‘change of attitude’.

The Force arrived in South Africa this week, ahead of Saturday’s Super Rugby Round 6 encounter, with a few injury concerns.

Their opponents, the Vodacom Bulls, are coming off a BYE – which was preceded by morale-boosting victories over the Cell C Sharks (43 / 35) and Toyota Cheetahs (39 / 20).

The Force, in stark contrast, have lost to the Reds, Hurricanes, Brumbies and Rebels – despite an opening round win over the defending champion Waratahs.

And there is concern over the fitness of prop Pek Cowan, who is in a race against time to recover from a shoulder knock. Sydney prop Guy Millar has been called into the squad as cover.

Other injury concerns include Luke Morahan (hamstring), Angus Cottrell (ankle), and Dane Haylett-Petty (foot). They are more likely to be fit than Cowan.

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