Waratahs hooker Damien Fitzpatrick will miss the remainder of the Super Rugby season after tearing knee ligaments, leaving the Sydney side thin in that department.
Fitzpatrick sustained the injury in training on Monday, leaving Tatafu Polota-Nau and John Ulugia as the only hookers. Coach Michael Foley said he would look at the Australian National Academy, the Sydney club scene, and also several lesser-known Australian hookers playing overseas, including Japan, for prospective candidates.
‘You have to see what’s available at the academy, but that doesn’t take priority over a club player, who is a little older, or an Australian overseas who might have some experience,’Foley said.
‘The academy does have some very talented players, but you want to be sure you’ve got a guy, if he’s called upon in a week’s time, who would be able to cope with the experience. The development work in the academy is great, but we are really looking for someone who can play Super Rugby at a moment’s notice.’
The Tahs expect to sign a replacement by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, flyhalf Berrick Barnes and loose forward Pat McCutcheon have returned to the training field after missing the previous matches through injury. A decision is yet to be made on whether they will be considered for the weekend’s match.