Close sidebar

New Zealand Boss Hansen Set To Sweat Over Fitness Of Star Hooker Dane Coles

New Zealand All Blacks Media Access

Warren Gatland has named his first Lions side of the 2017 tour and with the luxury of having a group of 41 fit internationals at his disposal, the tourists’ rude health is something their hosts, New Zealand, can only dream of.

Much has been made of the ongoing injuries that All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has had to contend with as he looks to name a squad for the upcoming three Tests against the Lions.

With big names like captain Kieran Read and Ben Smith out injured for the past few weeks and not likely to return before the first Test, Hansen will be fielding players with next to no match sharpness.

Add to this the continuing question marks over Sonny Bill Williams and the additional worries over Ardie Savea and Beauden Barret and it is clear that Hansen has a lot to consider ahead of the naming of his squad.

Now, according to Stuff, Hansen might be forced to make preparations without his star hooker Dane Coles. The New Zealand hooker is still sidelined with concussion-like symptoms that appeared back in March and according to Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd, Coles’ projected return against the Chiefs on June 9th now appears ‘unlikely’.

“I think it would be unlikely he’s going to get through enough [work] before next week for him to come into contention for selection.

“I might be surprised when I get home, but the indications are at this stage that probably not.”

Boyd continues,

“The problem with the concussion is we don’t know how slowly or quickly those advances are going to be made.

“I was hopeful that Colesy would be playing by now, but at the end of the day his symptoms don’t allow that to happen and so we’ll just continue along that route until they do.”

With the All Blacks set to play a one-off Test against Samoa on June 16th, in preparation for the first Lions Test on June 24th, Coles continued absence only adds further question marks to Hansen’s list of All Black starters.

Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena

[gravityform id=”1″ title=”true” description=”true”]

Read More About: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.