RICHARD FERGUSON updates keo.co.za followers of the latest Super Rugby news from New Zealand.
Smith doubtful for Reds
Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith left the field against the Blues on Saturday after a collision with Rene Ranger, and failed to return after failing the concussion test.
Smith will have to pass a midweek concussion test as well as prove his fitness before he can take the flight to Brisbane to face the Reds. Coach Mark Hammett is of the opinion that Smith will ready to take on the 2011 champions.
Smith will want to make the most of this Super Rugby season after stating that he wants to take a sabbatical from International rugby, meaning he won’t be available for the All Black’s June Internationals.
Steve Hanson is going to have a difficult time making up a centre combination, as the only remaining centre is Ma’a Nonu, after Sonny Bill Williams returned to league and Richard Kahui set to leave for Japan after the Super Rugby season, while Tamati Ellison and Kahui himself are both recovering from serious surgeries.
Hanson will have to choose from Rene Ranger, Robbie Fruean or the versatile Tim Nanai-Williams, who had a great game at 13 against the Highlanders.
Manu out for 3 months
The Highlanders will be without eighthman Nasi Manu for at least three months.
Manu dislocated a ligament in his foot during his team’s loss to the Chiefs on Friday.
It is said that he will require surgery to correct the problem.