Super Rugby

Coles in doubt for Hurricanes Super Rugby Semi-final

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Hurricanes captain Dane Coles is in doubt for their Super Rugby Semi-final against the Chiefs but has not yet been ruled out.

Coles “popped” a rib in a scrum and had to leave the field in the 43rd minute of the Hurricanes 41-0 victory over the Sharks with what appeared to be a rib or cartilage injury.

The All Black hooker initially got into an ambulance at Westpac Stadium which is why Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd initially thought Coles had gone to hospital.

However Coles was was driven home by his wife and Boyd said the hooker’s pain would be more easily managed at home than hospital.

Given the amount of pain that Coles was in when he left the field it’s hard to imagine seeing him back on the playing field inside the two remaining weeks of Super Rugby.

Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree says that they were expecting to know more about the injury on Monday morning

“I think it’s pretty early to say and certainly no use asking me, because I haven’t seen him or heard anything about him yet. I’ve just come in early to work and I’d say we’ll probably know more tomorrow and get a bit more of an accurate assessment then,” Plumtree told the Dominion Post. 

Should Coles be ruled out then the Hurricanes are expected to promote Ricky Riccitelli into the starting line up and have New Zealand under-20 captain Leni Apisai on the bench.

Coles’ normal back up hooker Motu Matu’u is on the sidelines with a broken arm so he cannot play.

“Ricky Riccitelli’s impressed us this year. He’s a strong scrummager, his throwing’s good and he’s bloody quick around the field as well,” said Plumtree.

“Obviously we’ll miss Colesy if he’s not available to us, but Ricky and Leni Apisai, who’s obviously had a lot of experience as well, are two good hookers.

“It’s not all doom and gloom if Colsey’s out, although it’s not great for us either.”

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