Hard luck for Highlanders

Form flanker John Hardie and flyhalf Lima Sopoaga will miss the rest of the Highlanders’ campaign due to injuries.

Hardie is likely to undergo surgery this week, as it’s been revealed that he has a toe fracture. Hardie will meet with a specialist on Monday, but is likely to be sidelined for 14 weeks, a lengthy period that effectively rules him out for the rest of the tournament.

The Highlanders have already lost first choice No 10 Colin Slade to a broken leg, and reserve pivot Sopoaga will miss the rest of the season due to a serious shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, lock Nick Crosswell has also been ruled out for six weeks due to a medial ligament injury.