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Crusaders hooker ruled out of Super Rugby season through injury

By Alex McLeod

Trending on RugbyPass

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Crusaders hooker Andrew Makalio has been ruled out of the 2021 Super Rugby season due to a neck injury.

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The Crusaders confirmed the news on Wednesday after Makalio injured his neck following a collision while playing for Tasman during last year’s Mitre 10 Cup.

Subsequent investigations and specialist opinions have determined that surgery is required to manage the injury.

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While no date has yet been set for Makalio to undergo the knife, the Crusaders confirmed the 29-year-old will take no part in this year’s Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby Trans-Tasman campaigns.

“We really feel for Drewza, and we wish him all the best with surgery and his recovery,” Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson said.

“While he won’t take part in any games this season, Drew is a really important member of our squad and his contribution off the field will be significant. We look forward to connecting with him on his return to Christchurch following surgery.”

Bay of Plenty hooker Nathan Vella, who has previously played Super Rugby for the Hurricanes, Sunwolves and Highlanders, has been called into the squad as Makalio’s replacement.

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The journeyman rake will compete with All Blacks star Codie Taylor and youngster Brodie McAlister for playing time in the No. 2 jersey.

Vella could make his first appearances for the Crusaders in their pre-season matches against the Highlanders in Temuka on February 12 and the Blues in Auckland on February 19.

The reigning Super Rugby Aotearoa champions will then kick their season off against the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on February 26.

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Crusaders hooker ruled out of Super Rugby season through injury

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