Burgess blow for Waratahs
June 21, 2011
Burgess has been in sensational form but his season will come to an abrupt end © Getty Images
Luke Burgess looks set to miss the Waratahs key game against the Blues on Friday after reportedly breaking his hand in training.
Burgess, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, travelled to Auckland for the play-off clash with the Blues but scans have revealed a broken bone following Tuesday's training session at the 'Tahs training base. The news will come as huge blow to the New South Wales franchise who are already without several key faces ahead of their clash with the Blues.
Burgess's injury means the Waratahs are now without 12 regular squad members and head coach Chris Hickey has been forced to fast-track two club players, Bernard Foley and Elvis Taione, into the side for Friday's crunch game. It is likely that either Josh Holmes or Brendan McKibbin will step into the void left by Wallaby international Burgess. Burgess looks set to have now played his last game for the Waratahs as he will join French Top 14 Orange champions Toulouse after the Rugby World Cup.
The Waratahs' injury list includes a plethora of internationals with Tatafu Polota-Nau, Al Baxter, Daniel Halangahu, Berrick Barnes, Drew Mitchell, Wycliff Palu, Sekope Kepu and Rob Horne all sitting on the sidelines. They are joined by regular first-team Waratahs' Ben Mowen, Pat McCutcheon and Damien Fitzpatrick in sitting out Friday's clash.
Waratahs' coach Hickey is backing Taione to handle the step-up to Super Rugby and admits his side are now used to coping without many of their stellar names. ''We monitored club rugby pretty closely at the end of last year and the start of this year, and we knew we needed to go to club rugby, there were a couple of candidates we looked at, and we felt that Elvis ticked most of the boxes,'' Hickey said. "We haven't been able to field the same starting XV week-to-week since February so we're quite used to dealing with this type of scenario.
"We've also had to call on other players from club rugby throughout the year, particularly in the last month and a half, and whenever we've had to, they've shown they're up to the mark. The disruptions aren't ideal, but they provide a challenge and we've seen over the past month that this team stands up pretty well then those challenges are thrown at them."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action