Ellis and Lavea could miss Super 14 start

Crusaders halfback Andrew Ellis and Chiefs flyhalf Tasesa Lavea could miss the start of the Super 14 season after suffering ankle injuries in pre-season matches.


Ellis limped off in Friday’s 55-33 win against the Hurricanes in Motueka and is expected to be out for six weeks, reports Rugby Heaven website.

If the All Black fails to recover in time for the start of the new season on February 15, coach Robbie Deans may have to turn to Kahn Fotuali’i for their opening match against the Brumbies at home.

All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter and flanker Reuben Thorne also suffered calf strains in the Hurricanes match and are likely to sit out the next pre-season match against the Western Force on Thursday.

They may be available for the trial against the Waratahs the following week. Lavea lasted only 20 minutes in the warm-up against the Highlanders in Invercargill on Saturday which the Chiefs won 36-24.

Coach Ian Foster said Lavea’s injury looked “reasonably significant”, and it depletes his already diminished stock of playmakers as Stephen Donald is still recovering from an ankle injury.


However, Foster has a capable stand-in available in the form of former Highlander utility back Callum Bruce.

Deans and Foster had contrasting views on their matches which were played under the new experimental law variations (ELVs). “The immediate feedback from the players was that the game is definitely faster, but they all enjoyed it,” Deans said.

“It does appear the new law variations should reward teams that are positive and play constructively.” Foster said he had a better understanding of the ELVs now and could go away and think about it.

“Certainly the ELVs were a bit different in terms of how it looked. “It was a bit stop-start at times with a lot of free kicks at the breakdowns and that’s something we’re going to have a look at – we seemed to give away too many for my liking,” he said.

Sapa Super14.com

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