Dane Coles out with fractured eye socket
April 18, 2013
Dane Coles had been due to return in a new-look Hurricanes pack © PA Photos
Dane Coles will miss the Hurricanes' Super Rugby match against Western Force with a fractured eye socket. Coles had been recalled to the starting side, but he will now be sidelined for six weeks.
"It's disappointing for Colesy, but there is plenty more time in this competition," Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett sai. "He is a positive guy and extremely hard-working. He can still do a heck of a lot for the team, even though he won't be involved in contact sessions, and we will be making the most of his experience and contribution."
Motu Matu'u, who was on the reserves bench, reclaims the starting jersey, with Ash Dixon moving on to the bench.
Jack Lam, meanwhile, will make his first start at openside flanker in one of three other changes to the Hurricanes pack to play Western Force on Friday night. Lam returns to the starting side after a knee reconstruction last year. The other changes see Jeremy Thrush recalled after recovering from his lower ankle sprain and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen claiming the tight-head jersey.
The return of Thrush to the Hurricanes line-up has allowed Hammett to rest Jason Eaton after starting all seven matches this season. TJ Perenara also gets a break, with Chris Smylie given the nod to start at halfback.
"We saw last year we can't rely on each of our players to be available for every match, so we always wanted to be able to give Chris a few more minutes in the starting position at some point," Hammett said.
With Lam's selection, young gun Ardie Savea also gets a week off, with Karl Lowe on the bench.
"When we selected Ardie for his first game we wanted to give him a couple of weeks of game time and then a rest," Hammett said. "He is still only 19 and we want to make sure he enjoys a full season of Super Rugby rather than wearing him down early in the year. We are lucky we have a lot of experience in our loose forwards to be able to support his development as a Super Rugby player."
On the bench, Reggie Goodes steps in as the back prop. Victor Vito (calf) and Ben May (elbow) were unavailable for selection this week because of injury.
This game will be the Force's first on New Zealand soil this season, a week after their two-point win over the Crusaders at NIB Stadium.
Hurricanes: Beauden Barrett; Alapati Leiua, Conrad Smith (captain), Tim Bateman, Julian Savea; Tusi Pisi, Chris Smylie; Faifili Levave, Jack Lam, Brad Shields; Mark Reddish, Jeremy Thrush; Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Motu Matu'u, Ben Franks. Replacements: Ash Dixon, Reggie Goodes, James Broadhurst, Karl Lowe, TJ Perenara, Reynold Lee-Lo, Andre Taylor.