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Hurricanes lose two playmakers ahead of season opener against the Reds

By Ben Smith
Ruben Love. (Photo by John Cowpland/Photosport)

The Hurricanes have been dealt an early season blow to their playmaking stocks after losing fullback Ruben Love and returning five-eighth Brett Cameron to injuries ahead of the Super Rugby Pacific season.

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Fullback Love, tipped by head coach Jason Holland recently to be one of many All Blacks bolters in 2023, will miss the start of the season with an ongoing groin issue picked up in the pre-season.

Former Crusader and one cap All Black Brett Cameron has been sidelined after a calf tear suffered against the Blues in a pre-season fixture. Both will miss the early season trip to Australia to face the Reds and Rebels.

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Young first five Aidan Morgan looks set to start at No 10 after 10 caps for the side in 2022 in his first season of Super Rugby while Josh Moorby and U20 graduate Harry Godfrey will be vying for the 15 jersey.

The other option for head coach Jason Holland is to rely on Jordie Barrett to fill in at the back if there are stronger options in the midfield, with Barrett bringing plenty of experience to the fullback role.

Holland back his younger options to fulfil their duties after helping the team recover from a 26-6 deficit against the Crusaders to storm home 31-26 in their final pre-season fixture.

“It’s obviously not ideal losing two 10s. Rubes hasn’t trained with us much, so that’s a blow but losing BC who has done a lot of our pre-season is also a blow around combinations and confidence in each other,” Holland told Stuff.co.nz.

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“Aids and Harry have been around the whole time and I think both of them are really starting to understand our game.”

The Hurricanes travel to Townsville to take on the Queensland Reds in the opening round of Super Rugby Pacific this weekend.

 

 

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Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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