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Season over for two Hurricanes forwards

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/07/2016 Daniel Gilhooly
Blade Thomson of the Hurricanes © Getty Images Blade Thomson of the Hurricanes

The Hurricanes are confident they can cover the loss of two first-choice tight forwards for the remainder of the Super Rugby season.

Lock Blade Thomson faces shoulder reconstruction surgery this week while prop Jeff Toomaga-Allen is out for three months after breaking his forearm during the 37-27 win over the Blues.

One-Test forward Toomaga-Allen will be hard to replace, beginning with Saturday's crucial match against the Waratahs in Sydney.

The tighthead prop has started all 13 games this year and his absence will probably force regular substitute Chris Eves to hold up the scrum over the remaining two rounds and, if they make it, into the play-offs.

Victory over the Waratahs will be enough to confirm the Hurricanes' involvement post-season.

Halfback TJ Perenara believes his team can cope with their biggest medical setback of a relatively smooth season since losing the services of All Blacks winger Nehe Milner-Skudder (shoulder).

"Injuries come to every team and it's how you deal with it," he said.

"I'm confident in the boys that get brought in and the job that they can do for us."

New Zealand under-20 lock Isaia Walker-Leawere joins the squad while a replacement for Toomaga-Allen is yet to be confirmed.

Dynamic lock Vaea Fifita made a fine fist of replacing Thomson against the Blues, scoring two second-half tries to ensure the home side remain third in the tightly-fought New Zealand conference.

Boyd believes the 24-year-old is a force for the future if he irons out some kinks.

"He didn't have the greatest defensive game but Vaea's a spooky athlete," Boyd said.

"You could probably play him on the wing. There's a lot more upside to see from him."

Boyd says his team were "beaten up" after being forced to attempt 176 tackles against the physical Blues.

He was disappointed 36 of them were missed but says their defensive quality improved as the match wore on.

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