Hore on course for return

Keo.co.za brings you the latest news from New Zealand’s Super 14 sides.

Hore on course for return

All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore is on target to make his return to Super 14 action when the Hurricanes face the Cheetahs this Saturday.

Hore has been out of action since injuring his ankle in the the All Blacks Bledisloe Cup match against Australia in Hong Kong last November and is eager to get his first competitive run out this weekend.

“Hopefully I’ll get some game time in the next couple of weeks,” said Hore. “It would be good to get up there [to New Plymouth] and have a run. It would be pretty special to play at home. Hopefully a good crowd will turn up.”

Hore’s involvement in Saturday’s game, though, will depend on how he gets through training this week.

“I’ve been doing a lot of fitness work … running, treadmill, cycling … but I haven’t had a lot of scrummaging and contact work. I’ve got that this week and we’ll see how things go.

“I’ve been a regular in the Hurricanes since 2004 and it was a bit strange when the first team this year was named and I wasn’t there. I’m not a very good spectator, I’d rather be playing,” added Hore.

Saders call on kicking expert

Todd Blackadder has called in kicking specialist  Mick “the kick” Byrne to cure his sides’ goal kicking problems.

Byrne has been brought in to work with Colin Slade and Stephen Brett ahead of Saturday night’s Super 14 match against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Slade has struggled with his goal kicking in the opening three rounds, missing seven of his 11 shots at goal in the opening three matches at a conversion rate of just 36%, while Brett, who has started at fullback in the absence of the injured Leon MacDonald, has slotted two from four in two games.

Slade missed three of his four attempts during last Friday’s 24-30 loss to the Hurricanes before handing the duties to Brett who slotted one from two.

“We booked him last week and he’s obviously been away. It’s the first time we have been in touch,” said Blackadder.

“It’s one of those key areas … points are crucial to keep the pressure on. It’s just a vital part of the game and the guys are working hard at it. Sooner or later you hope that it is going to pay off.”