Three weeks in and it is upsets a plenty! The Rugby World Cup is causing absolute havoc with resting weeks for almost every internationally capped player, throw in a scattering of injuries and it is arguably the hardest year ever to stay up to date. Luckily the Casualty Ward is here! Check in throughout the week as we roll in the updates.
Season 2 Episode 8 of the @DraftRugby podcasts will be available from Tuesday morning (AEST). Cargie, Harry & Nelson review round 3 and look forward on whats to come next week, all through a Fantasy Rugby lens. Tune in, rate, review and share us. You’ll find us across all platforms on the links below:
Returned from Injury in Rd 3:
Brad Weber (Chiefs) – Recovered from his concussion to start.
Angus Ta’avao (Chiefs) – Away on leave in rd 2. Started while Laulala had a rest week.
Sean Wainui(Chiefs) – Returned from his wrist injury to start on the wing.
Alex Nankivell (Chiefs) – Ended up starting at outside centre because Tumua Manu withdrew late from the match. Prefers the 12 jersey.
Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) – Missed the first 2 rounds as part of his contract, doesn’t count as part of his two enforced All Blacks rest weeks. Started in round 3.
Vaea Fifita (Hurricanes) – Started at no. 6 after recovering from a hamstring tear.
Ardie Savea (Hurricanes) – Had a minor MCL sprain on the inside of his knee so he was rested for round 2. Started this week
Tom Franklin (Highlanders) – Came off the bench after sitting out his planned 2 weeks after playing in Japan.
Elliot Dixon (Highlanders) – Similarly rested for 2 weeks after playing in Japan. Started at No. 8.
David Pocock (Brumbies) – Came back from his concussion in round 1. Looked sharp.
Reece Hodge (Rebels) – Came off the bench after recovering from his fractured ankle. Should start next week.
Adam Coleman (Rebels) – Recovered from his calf tear to come back via the bench.
Scott Higginbotham (Reds) – Returned from his shoulder niggle to come off the bench in rd 3. Scored a good try late.
JP Smith (Reds) – Recovered from his knee injury to take his spot on the bench. With Fotuaika struggling a bit at scrum time against the Crusaders we may see him start in round 4.
Juarno Augustus (Stormers) – Ended up being named on the bench because of Notsche’s injury. He sounds like a coach favourite so we might see him start to get more minutes.
Dillyn Leyds (Stormers)– Recovered from injury to take a spot on the bench. I’m expecting him to start rd 4 which could cause a big back line reshuffle.
Wilco Louw (Stormers) – Came off the bench after recovering from injury.
Ross Cronje (Lions) – Played off the bench after recovering from his off season shoulder op.
New Injuries Rd 3:
Tumua Manu (Chiefs) – Late scratching with a groin injury. Expected to be right to play rd 4. Source here.
James Moore (Sunwolves) – Late withdrawal from the game. Replaced by Dan Pryor.
Shane Gates (Sunwolves) – Broke through his lower leg. If he broke both bones as it looked, he will be going for surgery and should be gone for a significant period of time. Source here.
Kaito Shigeno (Sunwolves) – Came off early with a rib injury. Source here.
Jordan Petaia (Reds) – Has a Lisfranc injury. They haven’t announced the severity yet but he could be out for 1-4 months.
Bryce Hegarty (Reds) – Popped a rib and played on in pain for 40 minutes. Apparently in doubt for next week. Generally it is an injury that you can play through, but it hurts a hell of a lot. So it probably just rests on what the team needs.
Agustin Creevy (Jaguares) – Fractured two vertebrae in his spine. Not sure how long he is out for yet. Source here.
Marvin Orie (Lions) – Midweek groin injury. Not sure of the severity.
Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Stormers) – A late withdrawal with injury. No more news yet.
Curwin Bosch (Sharks) – A late withdrawal from the bench with injury. Looks set to return at fullback for round 4. Source here.
Aphelele Fassi (Sharks) – Came off with a head knock and failed his HIA. Will not play in round 4. Source here.
Tyler Paul (Sharks) – Injured early against the Stormers, looks likely to miss round 4. Source here.
Duane Vermeulen (Bulls) – Has a shoulder injury. Source here.
Trevor Nyakane (Bulls) – Rib injury. Source here.
Ruan Steenkamp (Bulls) – Concussion. Going through the protocols now.
Likely back for this week (Rd 4):
Ben Smith (Highlanders) – Was rested for rd 3. Source here.
Aaron Smith (Highlanders) – Was rested for rd 3. Source here.
Luke Whitelock (Highlanders) – Was rested for rd 3. Source here.
Liam Coltman (Highlanders) – Was rested for rd 3 because he had a baby!
Tevita Li (Highlanders) – Was rested for rd 3. Source here.
Richard Buckman (Highlanders) – Apparently not ready after playing in Japan for Rd 3. Expected back the following week. Source here.
Nathan Harris (Chiefs) – Was rested for rd 3. Source here.
Tyler Ardron (Chiefs) – Suffered a concussion in rd 2. Going through concussion protocols so he is not a guarantee at this stage. Source here.
Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs) – AB rest week for rd 3. Source here.
Nepo Laulala (Chiefs) – AB rest week for rd 3. Source here.
Solomon Alaimalo (Chiefs) – Small wrist fracture from the trial on the 25th of Jan. Apparently he could play in week 4. Source here.
Jack Debreczeni (Chiefs) – Has an abdominal strain, should be back for rd 4. Source here.
Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes) – Set to rest for rd 3 as part of the mandatory rest weeks. Source here.
Codie Taylor (Crusaders) – Missed the first two games of the season as part of his All Black’s rest then given an extra weeks rest in rd 3. Should finally be back! Source here.
Blake Gibson (Blues)– Rolled his ankle on the 26th of Jan against the Chiefs. Out for one month from this date, so I assume it is a grade 2 injury. I expect him back for round 4 against the Sunwolves at home or worst case after their round 5 bye. Source here.
Scott Scrafton (Blues) – In rd 3 of 2018 year he did his ACL, LCL and ripped the tendon off the bone. Was told 9-12 months to return to play and was aiming for rd 1. Did play for the Blues development side in rd 2 so he should be a good chance with the team returning home against the Sunwolves.
Sam Carter (Brumbies) – Left at home from the NZ tour in round 3 to recover from a quad cork. Should be back this week. Source here.
Henry Speight (Brumbies)– Looks like a hip pointer in rd 1. Limped off but looked minor. Not named in rd 3 so surely he played rd 4! Source here.
Lalakai Foketi (Waratahs) – Came off in the trial against the Brumbies on the 7th of Feb with what looked like a hamstring injury. Out for up to a month so should come into contention for a spot in rd 4. Source here.
Nick Phipps (Waratahs) – Calf injury, expected back after the round 3 bye.
Tatafu Polotau-Nau (Waratahs) – Being brought back from Leicester on a loan deal to act as injury cover for Shambeckler Vui (ridiculous we know). Apparently is available for selection in round 4. We expect him to be named on the bench.
Emiliano Boffelli (Jaguares) – Had a hamstring tear. Due round 3 or 4, so we are expecting him back this week. Source here.
Cobus Wiese (Stormers) – Took a head knock in preseason. Back doing full training before round 3 so he should be back in contention for a jersey. Source here.
Seabelo Senatla (Stormers) – Expected to be back for Rd 3 after dislocating his finger on the 19th Feb. Wasn’t selected so he might not be in the teams top side considering their depth out wide. Source here.
Philip van der Walt (Sharks) – Was expected to miss the first two to three weeks so we should see him back for round 4. Source here.
Ongoing Injury List:
All Blacks are expected to miss two weeks during the Super Rugby season, and only to play 180 minutes in the first 3 rounds.
All Blacks are also not meant to play 5 game weeks in a row.
Kalolo Tuiloma – The prop is unavailable due to injury. No more news yet. Source here.
Liam Squire – Unavailable with a chronic hip injury as of round 2. Apparently he is doubtful for rd 3, but should be right” in the next couple of weeks”. Source here.
Rob Thompson – Left ankle injury in rd 2. Will be out for 3-4 weeks (return rd 6-7) . Source here.
The Hurricanes in 2018 wouldn’t play anyone that isn’t fit to play fully on Monday of the game week.
Nehe Milner-Skudder – Injured his shoulder on November 3. “Still going to miss a few weeks yet”. Source here.
Toby Smith – Pulled late from the final trial due to concussion. Not sure when he will be back. Source here.
Alex Fidow – Has a shoulder injury. Not sure how severe it is. Source here.
James Marshall – Confirmed to have dislocated his shoulder in rd 1. Will be out for a fair while. Source here.
Gareth Evans – Has a calf strain and won’t play rd 3. No more detail on the severity. Source here.
The Chiefs in 2018 – “There was a team policy this year to give injured players an extra week to ensure they were fully fit.”
Sam Cane – Fractured his neck against South Africa last year. Targeting a May return
Kane Hames – Still going through concussion protocols from last year, expected to play “very soon”, but no clear time line. Source here.
Luke Jacobson – was only cleared to return to contact in the first week of Feb following a head knock against the Hurricanes on July. Source here.
Atu Moli – Pulled pre-game rd 1 with an elbow injury. Will be out for 4-5 weeks.
Liam Polwart – Had a preseason concussion and was being monitored as of the 5th Feb. Who knows with these injuries! Source here.
Sam Whitelock – The All Blacks have ordered him to miss the first month of the season. Source here.
Kieran Read – The All Blacks have ordered him to miss the first four weeks of the season, but it now looks like that return is in doubt. He is still struggling with a few injuries including his back which was operated on last year. Expected back in 1-3 week, definitely by rd 7 against the Hurricanes. Source here.
Israel Dagg – Rehabbing his “troublesome”, arthritic knee. Doing everything he can to be available for selection but it sounds like he is well and truly up against it. Source here.
Tim Perry – Broke his forearm Badly, needed a pin and plate. Apparently his season could be over. They are hopting he could he is back by rd 18 at the earliest. Source here.
Manasa Mataele – It has finally been confirmed that his season is over after rupturing his ACL. Hopefully he is back terrorising defences next season. Source here.
Jimmy Tupou – ACL reconstruction mid May 2018, “still working back from it”, standard rehab of 9 months would put him back around mid Feb, but that can vary a lot. Source here.
Jed Brown – Went off with a sore calf in the trial on the 25th of Jan. Doesn’t sound like much, but missed the trial and Rd 1 of the season.
Stephen Perofeta – Preseason pec muscle injury, apparently he could be gone for 16 weeks! Season pretty much gone….
Matt Duffie – Hamstring tear. Still no mention of him at the end of round 3.
Leni Apisai – Neck
Ezekiel Lindenmuth – Knee
Sam Nock – Calf
Jacob Pierce – Ankle
Jordan Trainor – Thigh
Caleb Clarke – Pulled pregame for a knee injury rd 2. Apparently could be out for 8 weeks. Source here.
The Australian sides have reached a “handshake agreement” with Rugby Australia to rest their Wallabies throughout the year. Most likely one or two weeks, but it is worth knowing when comparing to last seasons efforts. Source here.
Toni Pulu – Fractured his cheek. Went straight to hospital for surgery and is expected to miss a good chunk of the season, I’d expect 6 weeks. Source here.
Lausii Taliauli – Came off after landing heavily on his knee in the trial against the Waratahs on the 7th of Feb. Still not right for Rd 3 so should be right the following week. Source here.
James Tuttle – Ruptured his Achilles tendon in the NRC during late October last year. Recovery is an absolute minimum of 6 months, more likely 8-9 months (as per SBW and Slipper) which puts him at a return in May at the absolute earliest, more likely late June/ July. Probably his season gone! Source here.
Matt McGahan – Arrived at training before christmas with a broken leg. Not sure of the severity but it means he won’t start running until at least February, and probably will miss the start of the season. Source here.
Jordan Uelese – Still recovering from a knee reconstruction. Ruptured his ACL in June, a 9 month recovery therefore puts his return date around early March. Source here.
Matt Toomua – Playing for Leicester until at least the 18th of May. Won’t be back before round 15 at the earliest.
Michael Wells – Juggling 7s and Waratahs this year. He should play the Las Vegas (March 1-3) and Vancouver (March 9-10) stops on the world tour before he reverts to the Tahs for the bulk of the Super Rugby campaign. Thanks to an early Tahs bye, this means he should only miss three games for them. Source here.
Tom Robertson – ACL reconstruction (knee) in mid October. Will rule him out for 6-9 months (normally 9), so we could see him anywhere from mid April to mid July. Source here.
Shambeckler Vui – Limped off the field in the final trial with a foot sprain and is likely to miss a few weeks. Source here.
Tolu Latu – Latu has been cited for an incident ‘worthy of a red card’ after hitting a maul just before full time. He has been banned for 6 weeks. We are completely confused by this one but take a look for yourself. See the video here.
Jean-Luc du Preez – Injured his groin playing Gloucester in his short term deal with Sale Sharks just before the end of December. Should miss the first two months of the season! Source here.
Ramone Samuels – Severe Knee injury in August of last year. No definite come back date yet. Source here.
Paul de Wet – Injured. Not sure what the scrum-half has done. Source here.
EW Viljoen – Having surgery for a stress fracture. Should be back in March. Source here.
Steven Kitshoff – Tore his hamstring in the last trial, expected to return soon after the round 4 bye. Source here.
Salmaan Moerat – Injured but no word on what he has done. Source here.
Johnny Kotze – Out of round 2 with viral meningitis, likely to miss another three weeks yet, so should return in week 6 after the bye. Source here.
Edgar Marutlulle – Injured his achilles, expected back rd 6-7. Source here.
Marco van Staden – Shoulder injury will rule him out until about rd 6-7. Source here.
RG Snyman – Forced to have ankle surgery after playing in Japan. due back round 6-7. Source here.
Lood de Jager – Will miss the remainder of the Super Rugby season to get shoulder surgery. He is out for 4-5 months so we expect he needs either a shoulder reconstruction or pec muscle repair. Source here.
Marnitz Boshoff – Expected back in April. At least six weeks from Rd 3. Source here.
Duncan Matthews – Carried off the field in the trial and had ankle surgery on the 11th of Feb. Will be out for 8 weeks, putting him back around round 8-9.
Travis Ismaiel – Was expected to have recovered from shoulder surgery for the start of the season but needed a revision surgery. Back after the round 5 bye. Source here.
Jaco Visagie – Ankle injury required surgery. Back after the round 5 bye. Source here.
Roelof Smit – Back training before round 3. Back after the round 5 bye. Source here.
Jano Venter – Originally out for the first two months of the season. Back after the round 5 bye. Source here.
Lourens Erasmus – Fractured Tibia and Fibula through the ankle, 6-9 months recovery puts him back around June/ July so he could miss the entire season. Source here.
Len Massyn – Shoulder injury, aiming to be back in April. Source here.
Robbie Coetzee – Still recovering from a long term injury. No timeline for a return yet, but won’t be right for rd 2. Source here.
Cyle Brink – Knee injury back in August. Before round 3 he was reported to be back in “the next few weeks”. Source here.
Johannes Jonker – Still recovering from a long term injury. Source here.
Warren Whiteley – Came off with a shoulder injury, now reported as a mid grad pec tear. He will miss 6-8 weeks (rd 9-11). Source here.
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro – Right shoulder injury, missed the first trial against the Bulls. Source here. Update: Paul Tait says he is back into full training as of the 30th of January. Update: A new report says he won’t be back until March. Source here.
Jerónimo De la Fuente – Took a blow to the shoulder in round 2. Will miss 3-4 weeks. Most likely back after their round 6 bye.
20 players are in an international camp from Feb 2 to March 1 so are unlikely to feature in the first 3 rounds of the year. Source here. UPDATE: Apparently they are expected back around week 6.
Lomano Lemeki – Revealed he has a stress fracture in his groin, and will “require a month or two” to heal. Source here.
Hosea Saumaki – Still on the injury list. No idea what the injury is, and we haven’t been giving a return date. Thanks Rich Freeman for the info. UPDATE: Apparently he is on the plane to New Zealand!
Semisi Masirewa – Concussion. These are always dealt with really oddly by the Sunwolves so who knows when we will see him.
Craig Millar – Suffered a fracture and dislocation in his left foot. Will be out for 12 weeks starting rd 3. Source here.
Ed Quirk – Tore the MCL on the inside of his knee. Requires an operation and 8-10 weeks off (20th April- 5th May). Source here.
Amanaki Mafi (Sunwolves) – Added to the Japanese extended international squad on the 4th of March because his case was postponed. We assume this means he could be available for the Sunwolves ASAP. Most likely once the other international players come back.
Gone for the season:
Aki Seiuli (Highlanders) – Apparently out for the season.
Mitchell Graham (Chiefs) – Fractured his tibia and fibula back in the 2017 Brisbane Tens, still unsure of a comeback date as he works with specialists to stop his leg pain. Source here 28th November. He still can’t run and doesn’t have a squad spot for 2019.
Tiaan Falcon (Chiefs) – Ruptured his Achilles tendon and is gone for the entire season. This means a big increase in minutes for Debreczini, and now Stephen Donald has been signed up. Source here.
Sam Lousi (Hurricanes) – Torn his pec muscle, having an operation and is out for the year. Source here.
Ben Hyne (Brumbies) – Re-tore his ACL just before Christmas, will likely miss the full season. Source here.
Sean McMahon (Sunwolves) – Is having preseason foot surgery on a Lisfranc injury which rules him out for the year. As a result his contract has been cancelled with the Sunwolves. Source here. Sean McMahon – Is having preseason foot surgery on a Lisfranc injury which rules him out for the year. As a result his contract has been cancelled with the Sunwolves. Source here.
Shota Horie (Sunwolves) – Had surgery on his right foot to treat a stress fracture. His return is not clear at this stage, however he is targeting playing in the Pacific Nations Cup in July. Source here.
Rene Ranger (Sunwolves) – Did his ACL trying to step off his right leg in rd 1. Gone for the season.
Garth April (Bulls) – Required surgery on his shoulder and probably won’t be seen for the season.
Gonzalo Bertranou (Jaguares) – Dislocated his shoulder and is having an operation on the 22nd of February. No return date has been set, but generally it is a five month lay off (mid July at the earliest). Source here.
Have we missed something? Drop a comment or tweet and let us know.
Written by your local rugby nerd Harrison Dale.