Hames was not re-signed by the Chiefs for the 2020 Super Rugby season, having struggled with concussion issues over the past two seasons.
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Hames earned his All Blacks debut in 2016 after a breakout season in the Chiefs’ pack. His selection at the time was questioned by some, and Hames made headlines at a media session when he called out a journalist who had questioned his ability. However, he proved his place and earned 10 caps through 2016 and 2017.
Speaking about Hames’ absence from the squad this year, Chiefs forwards coach Neil Barnes said the 31-year-old prop had “to put things in priority”.
Scott Robertson has spoken of his disappointment at hearing Tony Brown had decided to support Jamie Joseph in his push to be the next All Blacks coach.https://t.co/EDgWrc3YTx
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 13, 2019
“I don’t think it’s a secret that he had concussion issues and he went through the processes of trying to get right,” Barnes said.
“Your health and your whole life in front of you, he’s probably made the right decision. We would have loved to have had him back, but we’re certainly not going to put people in a position where it affects the rest of their well being.
“He’s come back in other areas; he’s a talented individual as you’ll see in his work on TV, so good on him.”
As well as being unavailable for the Chiefs over the past two years, Hames hasn’t featured for Tasman at the Mitre 10 Cup level either but has tried his hand in the commentary booth.
Hames told the Herald in a statement: “It’s been a frustrating two years learning and applying concussion recovery protocols with slow progress. However, progress is progress and I am hoping that it keeps going to the point where I can be in a position to play again”.
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