Dane Coles’ injury ravaged season looks set to continue after it has been confirmed by All Blacks management that the Hurricanes man will miss the Bledisloe Cup encounter against the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday.
Coles has suffered from symptoms of concussion throughout the season and as a result, did not play a part for the All Blacks during the British and Irish Lions tour.
Coles did make his long-awaited comeback for the Hurricanes at the end of the Wellington-based outfit’s season. He came on as a substitute in their quarter-final win over the Brumbies in Canberra before starting their semi-final loss to the Lions in Johannesburg a week later.
However, Coles suffered a ‘head knock’ in the All Blacks’ ‘game of three halves’ against Counties and Taranaki on Friday night.
As a precaution, he will not be involved this weekend, according to the NZ Herald. Coles will be further assessed by the All Blacks medical team this week to determine the severity of the injury. As a result, Codie Taylor, who started all matches for the All Blacks during the Lions tour, is expected to start on Saturday while Ricky Riccitelli has been called in as cover.
Steve Hansen admitted that Coles could play this weekend if he wanted to but they are going on the advice of the doctor as a precaution but that Coles should be available for the return clash with Australia a week later in Dunedin.
“He’d be able to play if we really wanted him to, but we’re taking a precautious route, so we’ve withdrawn him from playing.
“He’s over here, he’s going to train with us. Nothing too serious but enough to say that we don’t want to play him. He should be available for Dunedin.”
“He’s a bit frustrated as he wants to play, but the doc doesn’t want him to, so we’re supporting the doc.”
Undoubtedly frustrating for Coles, let’s hope it is just a precaution and that we will see him back on the rugby pitch soon.
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