Chiefs and Bay of Plenty hooker Nathan Harris has been ruled out of the upcoming 2020 Super Rugby season.

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Harris has been rehabilitating from a fractured ankle in September during the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup season. Following a period of shoulder pain, Harris was advised to have shoulder surgery to repair his rotator cuff, which he recently undertook in early January.

The rehabilitation period is six months, making him unavailable for the 2020 Investec Super Rugby season but is set to return for the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup season.

Chiefs Physiotherapist Kevin McQuoid said: “Unfortunately for Nathan his injury rules him out for the 2020 season, our aim is to have him back on the field in time for Bay of Plenty’s Mitre 10 Cup campaign.”

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Harris said: “While I am gutted to have been ruled out for the season, this period of time will be able to assist me in rehabbing well to ensure I can be fit and ready for Bay of Plenty’s Mitre 10 Cup campaign.”

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Harris has a half-century of caps for the Chiefs and has made 20 appearances for the All Blacks over five years. After entrenching himself as one of New Zealand’s three best hookers over that same period, Harris was usurped last year by Liam Coltman and Asafo Aumua.

The 27-year-old could now find himself even further down the pecking order come the July Test series.

Harris re-signed with the Chiefs last year until the end of 2021.

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Harris has been replaced in the squad by Counties Manukau hooker Donald Maka. 25-year-old Maka has been training with the squad as a replacement player during the Gallagher Chiefs pre-season campaign. Maka made his Mitre 10 Cup debut for Taranaki in 2017.

With Liam Polwart retiring due to concussion at the end of 2019, the Chiefs will now be heavily reliant on Samisoni Taukei’aho, who was today named to start in the Chiefs’ first game of the season, against the Blues.

– with Chiefs Rugby

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