Hurricanes duo in a race for Super Rugby openers

Hurricanes duo Ardie Savea and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen are both in a race against time to be fit for the start of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

Flanker Savea had surgery on a torn bicep while prop Toomaga-Allen had surgery on his knee and they have admitted that they will be touch and go for Round one.

Both players had surgery on their injuries and while they look the picture of health now they may miss the start of the season.

The Hurricanes will warm up for the 2015 Super Rugby season with matches against the Crusaders (January 31) and the Blues (February 6) before they play their Super Rugby opener on February 13 in Johannesburg against the Lions.

Savea and Toomaga-Allen hope that they will be able to take part in the pre-season matches but they a more realistic target is the match against the Lions or the second round match against the Western Force in Perth on their way back home.

“The rehab has gone well, I’m in good nick and l’ve really looked after the knee, which has brought it (recovery) forward a little but I’m not going to rush,” Toomaga Allen told The Dominion Post.

“My main focus is Africa, making that tour, maybe playing that last preseason game,” added the Hurricanes prop.

“I’m strong, I’m pretty fit, I have a good aerobic base and I can run but I can’t change direction yet. I’ve just started doing that and I’m looking to build that up over the next three weeks.”

“I’m a bit slow off the mark at the moment and with those subtle movements.”

Toomaga-Allen said that his biggest challenge after the surgery has been retraining the muscle memory in his leg.

“I had to learn to run again and when I’m not thinking specifically about the knee my leg drags a bit, under fatigue,” he said.

“I’m at about 75-80 per cent right now and we’re looking to get toward 90 per cent in terms of recovery by the end of December. Come the end of January I’m hoping to be at 95 to 100 per cent by the time we play our first preseason game.”

Meanwhile Savea said that he too has been on a journey of discovery in what was the first major injury of his playing career.

“I’m around that 70 per cent stage. I’m not doing full weights but everything else. I’m getting there,” he said of an injury first thought to be in his shoulder.

“I tore my bicep tendon. The scan showed shoulder but when they got me in for surgery it was actually the bicep.”

The upside of the surgery is that it fixed what he always thought was a dodgy shoulder.

“It actually feels better than it did before the surgery. I had shoulder problems since I came out of school, so it was good to finally get it feeling right.”

Savea also revealed that not lifting weights had been an issue of his but now under the guidance of the Hurricanes fitness trainers and nutritionist he has actually gained weight and he hopes to resume full training in the new year.

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