Injured All Blacks flanker Sam Cane is poised to return to the Chiefs for the first time since breaking his neck while playing against the Springboks in October last year.


The Hamilton-based franchise face the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday, and co-captain Cane could be in line to make the match day squad, according to Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper.

“Sam’s going really well and could be this week or next week,” he said on Tuesday.

An initial return date was set for May 24 when the Chiefs host the Reds, but the 27-year-old could return to action a week ahead of schedule for what’s set to be a vital Kiwi derby.

Both sides are languishing at the bottom of the Super Rugby standings, with the Chiefs stuck in 12th spot with 23 points to their name, while the Blues lie in 14th with 21 points.

A win appears to be a necessity for both teams if either side is to qualify for the quarter-finals, with just five rounds left to play and the eighth-placed Jaguares sitting in the last play-offs berth with 28 points.

However, the Chiefs returned to winning ways last week, snapping a three-match winless run to defeat the Sharks 29-23 at Waikato Stadium, while the Blues are in the midst of a four-match losing streak, dating back to their 33-29 defeat at the hands of this week’s opponents a month ago.


Cane’s anticipated return to the Chiefs will be a major boost for the club, which has endured a hefty injury toll as they look to capitalise on their diminishing play-offs hopes.

Meanwhile, fellow co-captain Brodie Retallick has an expected return date of June 1 when the Chiefs play the Crusaders in Fiji, and first-five Jack Debreczeni is back in selection contention after missing three weeks with concussion, but new Waikato recruit Taleni Seu will miss the rest of the season with an arm injury.

In other news:

Video Spacer


Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now