The 28-year-old Crotty, who was expected to be named in Steve Hansen’s All Blacks squad for the three-test series on Thursday, suffered rib cartilage damage in the Crusaders’ 25-22 win over the Highlanders on Saturday.Initial assessments suggested he could be out for at least two weeks but the Crusaders’ assistant coach Jason Ryan said they needed to check a scan before they could determine the extent of the injury.”It will be a case-by-case thing,” Ryan said. “Cartilages can be pretty niggly, especially when you are sneezing or coughing.”They can take a while to settle down, but I am not too sure.”The Lions face the Blues at Eden Park on Wednesday prior to the match against seven-times Super Rugby champion Crusaders on Saturday, with coach Scott Robertson able to select his All Blacks for the game before they head into camp.Robertson had said last week it was likely they would field as close as possible to a full-strength side at Rugby League Park, but Ryan said they would also keep an eye on their All Blacks’ workload, especially captain Sam Whitelock.”Sammy is like the rest of them, he has got a few niggles,” Ryan said. “We have to be smart there, there is a bigger picture for the All Blacks. We don’t want to flog them.”Steve (Hansen) and the All Blacks coaches will want them fresh for the series, so we want to give everyone an opportunity in the 23 to play against the Lions.”
Coles will come from the bench in his first match in four months, having suffered lingering concussion symptoms since copping a head knock against the Highlanders in round four.That is a significant inclusion for the Canes but getting their star flyhalf back is of utmost importance.Barrett missed the win against the Crusaders due to a sinus infection so to have him fit and firing come Friday night is a major boost for Hurricanes fans.There is still no Vince Aso on the team sheet, which means Jordie Barrett will stay at outside centre.Nehe Milner-Skudder starts at fullback – as he did against the Crusaders – with Wes Goosen covering on the right wing.TEAMHurricanes team to face the Brumbies1. Ben May2. Ricky Riccitelli3. Jeff Toomaga-Allen4. Mark Abbott5. Sam Lousi6. Vaea Fifita7. Ardie Savea8. Brad Shields9. TJ Perenara (C)10. Beauden Barrett11. Julian Savea12. Ngani Laumape13. Jordie Barrett14. Wes Goosen15. Nehe Milner-SkudderReserves16. Dane Coles17. Chris Eves18. Loni Uhila19. Reed Prinsep20. Callum Gibbins21. Te Tairoa Tahuriorangi22. Otere Black23. Cory Jane
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