Super Rugby

Cane cleared to play for Chiefs against Hurricanes

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All Black and Chiefs flanker Sam Cane has been cleared to play in the team’s Super Rugby Semi-final against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.

Cane left the field for precautionary reasons at half time in the Chiefs 21-60 quarter-final victory over the Stormers in Cape Town.

The flanker was in doubt for the Semi-final in Wellington but Chiefs coach Dave Rennie says that Cane has been tested and shows no effects of concussion.

“He’s bounced back really well,” Rennie told AAP.

“We thought it was pretty minor and he was grumpy that we took him off but it was the right call and we’re confident he will be ready to go.”

While the Chiefs have been given a boost by the availability of 24-year-old Cane they will be without veteran Stephen Donald who has been ruled out with a shoulder injury.

Former All Black Donald was played a centre in Cape Town and almost scored a try in the opening minutes but was replaced due to injury before the half hour mark.

The Chiefs could bring two-Test centre Seta Tamanivalu back for this week as replacement for Donald and move Anton Lienert-Brown in at No.12.

Fijian-born Tamanivalu did not make the trip to South Africa as he injured his knee in the final round loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Tamanivalu scored two tries for the Chiefs against the Hurricanes in Wellington in April earlier this year and Rennie says that his return is a welcome boost.

“Seta will be pretty important. He’s a big man who carries hard and he draws a lot of attention so it’s nice to have that option with Beaver (Donald) being no good.”

In a further boost for the Chiefs Japan’s Rugby World Cup captain Michael Leitch has also returned to training after dislocating his thumb against the Rebels in May.

Rennie said that 27-year-old No.8 Leitch will have to make it through contact sessions this week before he can be selected to play in the Semi-final.

Looking back at the Chiefs last meeting with the Hurricanes Rennie said that the Wellington side have improved greatly since they met in April.

“They’re looking a lot sharper and they’re certainly on a roll having knocked over a lot of big teams,” Rennie said.

“They had the toughest run into the play-offs and ended up the number one seed so it’s a big challenge for us this week.”

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