Marshall injury could give Hurricanes a crisis at 10

James Marshall has agreed a move to London Irish

Super Rugby’s leaders the Hurricanes could be facing a crisis at first-five with James Marshall being sent to doctors for scans on his knee as the tournament starts to hit the business end.

Marshall has come into the Hurricanes starting line up as replacement for Beauden Barrett who is expected to miss at least another two weeks of Super Rugby.

If the Hurricanes lose Marshall over the next two weeks they would be forced to play Otere Black at 10 and he only has played one game of Super Rugby

Twenty-year-old Black came off the bench in the Hurricanes seventh round victory over the Rebels in March.

Marshall suffered a knock to his knee late in the Hurricanes 32-24 victory over the Sharks on Saturday and was sent to have it scanned on Monday afternoon.

Hurricanes coach John Plumtree has played down the injury and said that the scan is precautionary.

“It’s nothing serious. Should be fine for the weekend,” Plumtree told the NZ Herald

“He’s just got what looks like a contusion on the inside of his knee. So we are just hoping it’s just bruising.”

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd might have to start a search of New Zealand if the scan comes back bad as the Wellington side will need to have a replacement on the bench for their matches against the Chiefs and Blues in the next two weeks.

The Hurricanes could have used Jason Woodward as cover but he broke his ankle playing club rugby in April.

“Boydy will find another one. He’ll have to,” Plumtree said.

The results from Marshall’s scan are only expected back on Tuesday and while they wait there is also concern over fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder who suffered a head knock against the Sharks.

Coach Plumtree said that he did not have any information yet on how the fullback had progressed.

The Hurricanes hope to field a full strength team this week against the Chiefs who are second in the New Zealand Conference.

“They’re 10 points behind us and they’ll need to win this to keep in touch with us so we are aware of that,” Plumtree said.

“We’ve got a lot of respect for the Chiefs. They’re an outstanding side, a championship side, so we’ve got to make sure that we bring our best team this week to the party.”

The Hurricanes will be tested in the final stages of the regular season as they have five NZ derbies ahead – two against the Chiefs – and All Blacks Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Cory Jane and Ben Franks all still need to be rested for one more game.

The Hurricanes will finish their campaign with five Kiwi derbies, including two meetings with the Chiefs, and four of their All Blacks – – still need to rest one more game each.

“We’ve still got plenty of time to rest those guys,” Plumtree said.

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