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Ngatai's return for Chiefs still uncertain

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/06/2016

Charlie Ngatai. © Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images Charlie Ngatai. The Chiefs are taking a 'wait and see' approach with Charlie Ngatai as the All Blacks midfield back continues to suffer from concussion symptoms.

Ngatai hasn't travelled with the Chiefs to play in their historic Super Rugby clash with the Crusaders in Fiji on Friday.

The 25-year-old was forced to miss the All Blacks Test series against Wales, and Chiefs coach Dave Rennie isn't prepared to put a time frame on his return.

"He's turned a corner but it's been six or seven weeks since he played, so from that point of view he probably needs a couple of weeks of conditioning and getting back into things before being even considered," Rennie said.

The Chiefs injury woes have also continued with lock Michael Allardice the latest to be ruled out for the season, meaning they are currently missing 16 players.

But Rennie isn't dwelling on the lack of playing stocks after his wider squad stepped up in their impressive 40-7 victory over Wales.

"When you get a lot of injuries you bring other guys in who get exposed and improve.

"That's why we are in a pretty good state, and there are guys who played well in that Welsh game who are going to get another crack."

Rennie also has the tricky task of reintroducing his All Blacks back to Super Rugby, with some like Brodie Retallick having had a heavy workload in the recent international series.

"We will manage Brodie's load over the next few weeks as we are conscious of the fact he's played a lot of minutes," Rennie said.

"The All Black environment is pretty intense as they are in there 24/7 and have a lot of meetings on top of trainings, hence the reason we want to keep them mentally fresh."

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