Leonard frustrated with injuries
February 14, 2013
Brendon Leonard faces more time on the sidelines. © Getty Images
Another Super Rugby season and another injury for frustrated Chiefs halfback Brendon Leonard.
The 30-year-old suffered a broken cheekbone in his side's 36-14 pre-season win over the Highlanders at Taupo's Owen Delany Park.
The Chiefs halfback has had surgery to straighten the cheekbone, and stitches, and he will be out for six weeks of the competition.
Leonard also missed the first half of last season with a hamstring injury suffered in the first round of the campaign - also against the Highlanders.
Speaking at the Super Rugby competition launch in Auckland on Tuesday, Leonard was taking the injury in his stride.
"At the end of the day I can still run and still do all the training so it's a good chance to get fitter, get stronger and hopefully come back in better shape," Leonard said.
Brendon Leonard couldn't hide the frustration when discussing the injury, but he said it wasn't enough for him to consider retiring from the code.
He said, meanwhile, that the number of youngsters making tracks within the Chiefs team, including 21-year-old Tawera Kerr-Barlow and prop Ben Tameifuna, was a sign of the systems put in place by the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) .
"Tawera and these young guys coming through pretty early - it obviously bodes well for New Zealand Rugby Union for these young guys to come through at the age they are.
"It's a sign of the New Zealand rugby systems, the ITM Cup teams, the academy systems that obviously the young guys are good enough to play at the highest levels."
Leonard said he was wary of the fact his contract with the NZRU at the end of the year.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports