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Hurricanes want Saturday's clash against Chiefs to be rescheduled

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

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The Hurricanes want Saturday’s Super Rugby Pacific clash against the Chiefs to be rescheduled to give themselves more preparation time following a Covid outbreak within their squad.

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The Wellington-based franchise were unable to field a team to play Moana Pasifika last weekend, resulting in the postponement of that fixture to a yet-to-be-determined date.

Hurricanes assistant coach Chris Gibbes said on Monday that the squad isn’t expected to fully return to training until Thursday, and they have subsequently requested to New Zealand Rugby for their match against the Chiefs be pushed back by a day.

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“There’s a fair bit to work out in that space with New Zealand Rugby and Sky, but, from our perspective, having an extra day and having the game on Sunday would be massively beneficial for us, so fingers crossed we can get that across the line,” Gibbes said.

In spite of his side’s inability to field a team against Moana Pasifika last Saturday, Gibbes remained optimistic that the Hurricanes would be capable of playing out their fixture against the Chiefs this weekend.

“We haven’t been able to train but the boys are integrating back in via the protocols,” he said.

“We’ve got guys at different stages coming back but we’re confident we will have a team for this weekend.”

Should the Hurricanes play the Chiefs as scheduled, that match could also mark the return of injured All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara after he damaged his MCL during pre-season.

Last week, Gibbes said that Perenara was closing in on a full recovery from a knee injury, and with an extra week to prepare following the postponement of the Moana Pasifika match, the 30-year-old may come into the reckoning against the Chiefs.

“He’s done really well, and as you can imagine, TJ’s a professional when it comes to his body, so he does everything he can to look after that… but he’s in really good nick and he’s progressing really well,” Gibbes said last Monday.

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“Whether he’s available or not this week is still early doors to tell, but, in terms of his return to play plan, he’s tracking really well.”

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