If you were hoping that Bryn Gatland would become a long-term replacement for injured Damian McKenzie in the All Black World Cup team, you can eliminate those hopes. Rugby fans are waiting for thrilling performances in RWC. Now you can book tickets for Rugby World Cup to support your favourite players.
The first-five aged 23 suffered his own end-of-season injury after losing his job in the Highlanders 52-0 defeat of the Sunwolves in Tokyo last Friday.
Gatland replaced Josh Loane in the 60th minute of the match, but his teammates helped the team out of the field with obvious discomfort at the end of the game, injuring their foot.
Four days have passed since, and Highlander assistant coach Mark Hammett confirmed on Tuesday. The former Blues playmaker’s first season with the franchise was over having been outlawed for six months.
“He has a pretty serious foot injury, so he’s out for the season,” Hammett said.
“He broke at least two of the metatarsals, got ligament damage and moved something. So, it’s not very good and he’s definitely going to have surgery.”
Gatland’s injury adds to the tension felt by the Highlanders in the top five departments. Veteran Marty Banks only has a fortnight to return to action after breaking his foot against the Hurricanes four weeks ago.
Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger told Stuff last week that back Josh McKay could be used as a potential game solution in the absence of Banks and Gatland. Dan Hollinshead of Bay of Plenty was named as an injury cover.
Hollinshead, who has spent time in France and Japan with Agen and Coca-Cola Red Sparks, respectively, is an outdoor opportunity to run against the Chiefs in Dunedin this weekend.
However, with such limited preparation, McKay, who played in the first five places at Christchurch Boys High School and New Zealand schools. As well as the Highlanders Bravehearts earlier this year could be considered as the preferred option.
“Hollinshead did not arrive until Tuesday. So, we’ll let him get into the environment and solve his problems, and we’ll probably have a better idea in the next few days,” Hammett said.
At the same time, the return of the injured duo All Blacks, Liam Squire, and Waisake Naholo, had been described as improbable by Hammett. However, he hoped that the duo would return for next week’s home match against Jaguares.
“We’ll see where we’ll be by the end of the week,” Hammett said.
We must be careful. We have positions where it would be nice to have guys come back and positions in which we are really not that bad but we have to be careful.
It’s really frustrating for Squire but the first thing to do is get things right first, so that’s his priority. Because the rugby player is so intuitive once back, he will be ready, it never worries him. It’s more about morale because when you like the game as it does and you play the way it does, that’s what you want to do.
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