‘Big Chiefs’ break down before SA tour




The Chiefs have lost the services of their captain Jono Gibbes and star utility back Sosene Anesi ahead of their three-match Super 14 tour of South Africa.

Anesi, a wing and fullback, suffered a neck fracture in Friday’s 39-32 Round Two Super 14 match against the Hurricanes at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton and did not fly out with the rest of the team on Saturday.

A CT scan late on Saturday revealed a fracture to the C6 and C7 vertebrae in Anesi’s neck. He is currently in a stable condition at Waikato Hospital.

Anesi has been replaced by wing Anthony Tahana in the Chiefs’ tour squad to South Africa.

The Chiefs, who now have just three bonus points from their first two matches, also fly to South Africa without captain Jono Gibbes, who damaged a calf in the fourth minute of the loss to the Hurricanes.

Coach Ian Foster has also confirmed that fellow lock Keith Robinson, who missed the first two matches because of injury, was unlikely to be fit for the first of three games in South Africa – when they face the Stormers in Cape Town on Friday.

And with both Robinson and Gibbes on the injury list, the Chiefs have added Andrew van der Heidjen to their squad.

Other injury concerns include fly-half Tasesa Lavea and centre Richard Kahui, which means Cory Aporo joins the tour.

Van der Heidjen stays with the team as long as Robinson is unavailable for selection and Aporo stays with the team as long as Kahui is unavailable.

The Chiefs’ second-string physios and trainers will be working hard on Kahui in Hamilton. The moment he looks likely to play he will be flown over to South Africa.

Chiefs squad: Cory Aporo, Steven Bates, Ben Castle, Simms Davison, Aled de Malmanche, Stephen Donald, Marty Holah, Roy Kinikinilau, Tanerau Latimer, Sione Lauaki, Brendon Leonard, Toby Lynn, Lelia Masaga, Liam Messam, Jamie Nutbrown, Kristian Ormsby, Keith Robinson, Dwayne Sweeney, Anthony Tahana, Niva Ta’auso, Tane Tu’ipulotu, Andrew van der Heidjen, Craig West, Nathan White, Murray Williams, Tom Willis.

365 Digital

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