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22 Feb 2018 15:51
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby

    Injury relief imminent for Umaga's Blues

    The Blues are likely to get a score of regulars back from injury before their February 23 Super Rugby opener - but perhaps not Stephen Perofeta.

    Tana Umaga
    Tana Umaga

    Blues boss Tana Umaga expects most of his troops - but perhaps not Stephen Perofeta - to be injury-free by the start of Super Rugby action.

    Prodigious first-five Perofeta fractured his hand in last week's 45-19 pre-season win over the Chiefs and is expected to be out for six weeks.

    The injury follows the long-term absence of recruit Otere Black, and leaves just Bryn Gatland and Dan Kirkpatrick as first-five options for the Aucklanders' Super season opener against the Highlanders on February 23.

    Kirkpatrick is also currently hurt but likely to be fit and firing imminently.

    A host of other Blues players also have niggles, including Michael Collins, Blake Gibson, James Parsons, Jerome Kaino and Scott Scrafton.

    Umaga said they were all tracking well for the Super campaign, but they wouldn't be ready to play in this week's Brisbane Tens event.

    He also wouldn't look for short-term signings before the season starts.

    "She's been pretty big," Umaga said of his injury list.

    "A lot of them are on the return, returning this week really, back to the field - hopefully all goes well and we'll be a lot closer to our original squad.

    "Some All Blacks have brought some niggles back from where they were and we've just got to take a lay of the land at the moment."

    Umaga's All Blacks contingent includes Kaino, as well as the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, Ofa Tu'ungafasi and Rieko Ioane.

    He said that, with so many players unavailable, he'd been compelled to look for diamonds in the rough outside of his squad list.

    He listed forward Ross Wright as a player who impressed against the Chiefs.


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