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Highlanders lose one-test All Black for rest of season through injury

By Alex McLeod
Gareth Evans. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

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The Highlanders will be without one-test All Blacks loose forward Gareth Evans for the remainder of the Super Rugby Pacific campaign.

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Evans has sustained a pectoral injury that will require surgery, thus keeping him sidelined for the rest of the competition, meaning he will take no further action for the Highlanders this year.

The loss of Evans comes as a blow for the Highlanders, who have won just two of their 10 matches this season to sit in 10th place on the Super Rugby Pacific standings, two points astray from a playoff spot.

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Evans, who played his one and only test for the All Blacks against Japan in Tokyo four years ago, returned to the Highlanders this season after having spent four seasons with the Dunedin-based franchise between 2014 and 2017.

During that time, the 30-year-old helped the Highlanders win their sole Super Rugby title in 2015 and was part of the Highlanders team that famously defeated the British & Irish Lions two years later.

In 2018, Evans departed north to sign with the Hurricanes, and he spent four seasons in Wellington before linking back up with the Highlanders this season.

Following his return to Dunedin, the versatile back rower – who can play in all three loose forward positions – featured prominently for the Highlanders, making nine appearances this year.

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The Highlanders have not revealed exactly how long Evans will be out of action for, but confirmed no injury replacement player will link up with the squad.

After notching a victory over the Fijian Drua in Suva last weekend, the Highlanders are aiming for their first back-to-back wins of the year when the face the Reds in Brisbane on Friday.

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