Two key players off injury list for South Africa tour

Two key players off injury list for South Africa tour

Two players including All Black Rieko Ioane have come off the injury list to join the 27-strong Blues squad that is en route to South Africa.

The Blues will take on the Bulls in Pretoria and the Stormers in Cape Town over the next two weeks in Investec Super Rugby.

Ioane and Otere Black are included in the party, with Black fit after a rib injury received in pre-season while Ioane has made a faster recovery than initially expected from a minor fracture in his hand.

The only player from Friday’s loss to the Crusaders who has missed the tour is lock Josh Goodhue, who left the field with an ankle injury early in the match at Eden Park.

The other players to join Friday’s squad are locks Jacob Pierce and Aaron Carroll and front-rower Marcel Renata.

Coach Leon MacDonald said the return of Ioane and Black is a welcome one for the squad in South Africa.

He said the injury to Goodhue meant two additional locks needed to be selected, which meant there was no room for Akira Ioane to be included in the party.

“As well as the locking situation, we needed cover at openside loose forward while we have sufficient cover in the other two loose forward spots,” said MacDonald.

“This will allow Akira to continue his preparations at home to be fast and ready to add fresh input to the team on their return to take on the Hurricanes in three weeks.

“It is a similar situation with Finlay Christie, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti and Jared Page who we hope will all be available for selection for the Hurricanes game, while we hope that will be the case with the ankle injury for Josh Goodhue.”

Players not considered because of injury include: Finlay Christie (neck), Gerard Cowley-Tuioti (shoulder), Jared Page (hamstring), Tanielu Tele’a (shoulder), James Tucker (knee), Alex Hodgman (calf), Ray Niuia (knee), Josh Goodhue (ankle).

The travelling squad is:

Forwards: James Parsons, Kurt Eklund, Marcel Renata, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Sione Mafileo, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jacob Pierce, Aaron Carroll, Tom Robinson, Dalton Papalii, Blake Gibson, Tony Lamborn, Hoskins Sotutu.

Backs: Jonathan Ruru, Sam Nock, Stephen Perofeta, Otere Black, Harry Plummer, TJ Faiane, Joe Marchant, Rieko Ioane, Mark Telea, Jordan Hyland, Emoni Narawa, Matt Duffie.