Kerr-Barlow poised for Chiefs return
May 7, 2013
Tawera Kerr-Barlow is set to return for the Chiefs and make a late charge for All Blacks selection in June © PA Photos
All Blacks halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow is poised to return to the Chiefs this weekend after missing five Super Rugby games with a broken jaw.
A Chiefs statement said Kerr-Barlow is the only player on a 10-strong injury list expected to return for Friday's match against the Western Force at Pukekohe, although prop Ben Afeaki was described as a possibility.
Kerr-Barlow suffered the injury on March 22 against the Highlanders. He played the entire 80 minutes but was later diagnosed with a fracture.
The 22-year-old will be anxious to press his All Blacks claims in Chiefs' three remaining games before national coach Steve Hansen names his squad to contest the home series against France next month. He came off the reserve bench for his first two Tests last November, against Italy and Scotland.
Meanwhile, the 24-man Force squad arrived in Auckland on Tuesday, with two players added to the side who drew 11-11 with the Queensland Reds in Perth on Saturday. They are flanker Angus Cottrell and centre Chris Tuatara-Morrison.
Western Force: Chris Alcock, Richard Brown, Angus Cottrell, Pek Cowan, Nick Cummins, Pat Dellit, Sias Ebersohn, Tetera Faulkner, Kyle Godwin, Jayden Hayward, James Hilterbrand, Matt Hodgson (captain), Ben Jacobs, Kieran Longbottom, Toby Lynn, Ben McCalman, Alby Mathewson, Sam Norton-Knight, Junior Rasolea, Brett Sheehan, Heath Tessmann, Chris Tuatara-Morrison, Rory Walton, Sam Wykes.
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes