Brad Thorn, 39-year-old former all black, hopes to make a comeback in Super Rugby Saturday, for the Highlanders against the Western force.
Thorn had damaged some cartilage, when striker Liaki Moli mid way through the first half of the Highlanders 29-21 victory against the Blues in his first game of the season 2014.
Highlanders management has gotten him a 70-30 chance to play, after early medical prognosis was that he would be out for at least a month. Thorn has another scan on injured knee, before a final decision about whether the veteran is fit enough to play a role in the contest Saturday.
In addition to the supporters of both sides, there will be some excitement or anticipation under Super Rugby fans before hurricanes v Cheetahs match on Saturday.
The two sides have played seven games between them this season, but has played in just a success of these contests as Cheetahsbeat the bulls by 15-9 in his second match.
After last week’s loss to the Red coach Naka Drotske, Cheetahs, made a number of changes to his side for the clash in the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
SAREL Pretorius returns to the starting XV, along with Raymond Rhule on the left wing, have recovered from an ankle injury that ruled him out of the Red tripod. There is also a change on the right wing with Slam Hendricks also returns to the team to wear shirt No. 14.
After winning his first match this season Super Rugby competition, the Melbourne rebels a disappointing heavy defeat since last week on the Western force in Perth, and will look back on track Friday when they entertain Crusaders at AAMI Park.
The Crusaders have made a stuttering start to their campaign, but finally booked a profit last week as they pressed home against the Stormers 14-13. Even this victory is not enough to raise one of the traditional powerhouses of New Zealand rugby 14 position in the parent table.
The rebels may have suffered from power as a result of having played a game less because of an early bye, but they managed to record a comfortable win against touring cheetahs and so the result was a blow to their confidence in Perth.
Managers will be happy to a third consecutive victory in this season’s competition, not only to help Tanerau Latimer celebrate in style, but also after the Stormers match, a three-game road trip from New Zealand, to assume power, the bulls and cheetahs.
Friday’s game will Latimer of 100 Super Rugby match, and his 95 in the colors of the leaders.
Had a week off last weekend, the chiefs had extra time to fit a number of players, and some have made changes to the team and the reserve Bank.
Defeat for their main rivals, Waratahs, has led to the Queensland Reds last weekend, head coach, Richard Graham, five changes to the side on the pitch against the Cheetahs on Friday.
Graham makes first start of the season 2014 from four red Super Rugby players, including the flying wing, Rod Davies, who will start his first game since July 2013, success has worked its way back in contention, after undergoing a knee reconstruction.
Davies comes to the team on the right wing, replacing Lachie Turner, himself a victim of a persistent knee injury, which he suffered in a preseason game against the Chiefs. Mike Harris returns to the side, missed last weekends defeat, with only pain, Anthony Fainga’a in replacement within Sautia Chris Feauai Centre where he will partner in the midfield. Fainga’a and Ben Tapuai, link Centre last week, begins the game on the Red Bench.
Have lost both games on their trip to South Africa, hurricanes have two changes to their team for their first home game in Wellington, next Friday. Trainer, Mark Hammett makes a change to the forwards and a single change in the back, in an attempt to find a winning formula.
Adam Faifili Levave Hill come on Wing forward, replace, which is available due to injury, while in the back, James Marshall starts at fullback, with previous incumbent Marty banks and drop down to to the Bank.
Brumbies are eagerly awaiting the results of a scan, that their open side flanker David Pocock has reviewed, to see if their have been reconstructed knee injuries.Victory last week against the power was tempered by the sight of Pocock limping off before full-time and Pat McCabe to take to the hospital in a neck brace. The good news is that McCabe not a serious neck injuries, as feared, and perhaps even showing against the hurricanes to suffer.
The weekend finale sees the Waratahs hosting by power of the West in what promises to be an exciting derby in Sydney on Sunday.Both sides head into this match on the back of impressive performances in their pre-season matches. Waratahs lost their initial heating furniture narrowly against the rebels to secure fine wins over the Blues and Highlanders.
After last year’s indifferent form, Waratahs fans expect a much more concerted effort on their part, and they get their chance to make a positive start to the season against the force, to imagine if they have beaten in eight of their 11 previous matches. They need not, however, underestimate their opponents, who won two and drew one of their three remaining games and interesting all these results came in Sydney.
The big topic of conversation from camp Waratahs before Beale is the selection of the Wallabies tough on center stage. As a FULLBACK or flyhalf, that he is one of the best in the industry-especially on the attack-but it will be interesting to see how he does in his new role and how his struggle with kraft much appreciated midfielder Kyle Godwin pans.
They need not, however, underestimate their opponents, who won two and drew one of their three remaining games and interesting all these results came in Sydney.
It’s difficult to stress just how much of a loss this is to the visitors as the trio are some of coach Mark Hammett’s vital attacking weapons. Shields and Vito’s athleticism is often seen in wide channels, where they cause defences trouble, while Savea is New Zealand’s next big thing.
Their absence subsequently hands the Sharks a lift before kick-off but for the neutral it comes as a blow as a scrap between the trio and Ryan Kankowski, Willem Alberts and Marcell Coetzee would have been worth the entrance fee alone.
A lot now rests on Faifili Levave and Jack Lam for the Hurricanes while Blade Thomson adds to his one appearance of last year at one of the toughest venues around, versus a side looking in-form.
Indeed Steyn got the better of opposite number Jan Serfontein which, for the benefit of the Springboks, is great news for South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer. Having both those two snapping at each others’ heels behind Jean de Villiers can only be seen as a positive approaching 2015.
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