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'It's a big blow for him': Blues confirm injury to All Black Caleb Clarke

By Ben Smith
(Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

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The Blues have been dealt a blow with All Black wing Caleb Clarke leaving the field early in their 21-19 last-gasp win over the Brumbies in Canberra.

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The 23-year-old spent weeks on the sidelines after a suspension following an aerial challenge against Moana Pasifika and will now prepare for another stint to recover after suffering a hamstring injury last night.

Head coach Leon Macdonald confirmed the injury in the post-match press conference but was confident the Blues had the depth to cover for Clarke’s absence.

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“He’s done his hammy,” head coach Leon Macdonald said of Clarke.

“It’s a big blow for him, I thought he was in dangerous form out there and trying to get into the game as much as possible.

“He’s a pretty disappointed man as you can imagine.

“Every team is going to have injuries and depth is really important in this competition.

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“We’ve got really good depth there so feeling confident. The next guy will step up.”

When pressed on the length Clarke would be out for it, Macdonald couldn’t say for sure but was expecting his star winger to be sidelined for a few weeks as hamstrings ‘don’t fix overnight’.

“Hard to say at the moment, he’s just walked off and he’s got ice on it but he pulled up pretty quickly. Hamstrings don’t fix overnight unfortunately, especially when you are a winger and your job is to run fast.

“He’d be pushing it.”

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The blow was the second injury to a high profile All Black after captain Sam Cane went off early in the Chiefs clash at home against the Force.

Cane’s leg collapsed during a cleanout by a Force player while contesting at the breakdown, sparking fears of a serious leg injury for the All Blacks No 7.

“He seems to think it’s okay,” head coach Clayton McMillan said of the incident.

“But every player thinks their injury is not too bad until they wake up the next day.

“I think he probably would’ve carried on, because he’s just that type of guy.

“The advice of the medical team was that it just wasn’t worth risking, so we didn’t.”

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