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Thomson adds to Hurricanes injury woes

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/03/2017 Daniel Gilhooly

Blade Thomson of the Hurricanes wins a lineout ball during the round nine Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Chiefs. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Blade Thomson of the Hurricanes wins a lineout ball during the round nine Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Chiefs. The Hurricanes learned how to win the Super Rugby title with a below-strength team last year.

It doesn't make their early-season injury toll any easier take for coach Chris Boyd.

Rangy No.8 Blade Thomson is the latest player to join a list of crocked players which has swelled to 10 just one week into the competition, having dislocated his shoulder in last week's 13-try annihilation of the Sunwolves.

Boyd says a team might expect to have four or five players out at this time of season, not double that.

However, it feels to him like deja vu after last year's team overcoming the departure of several key veterans, along a mounting injury toll late in the season.

"When you think back, four of the tight five in the final were rookies last year," he said.

"Everyone has to make a contribution when required."

Thomson, 26, will be ruled out for the season if scans show he has re-damaged shoulder ligaments which were healed by reconstructive surgery last year.

That would be an enormous blow to the four-match Maori All Black, who was earmarked to fill the boots of departed Test loosie Victor Vito.

"He's served his apprenticeship under Victor for three years and it was his time," Boyd said.

"If it's to be season-ending, he's just go to suck it up and come back harder for 2018.

"We've got a lot of appendages crossed at the moment."

Another Maori All Black, Canterbury's Reed Prinsep, will get his first Hurricanes start in Saturday's match against the Rebels in Wellington.

Other first-choice players missing are winger Cory Jane (neck), lock Vaea Fifita (ankle), lock James Broadhurst and Reggie Goodes (both concussion).

A return date for the latter two is impossible to predict, Boyd said.

Veteran All Black Jane is sure to get plenty of chances once available, probably from later this month.

Boyd says he plans to regularly rotate his high-profile outside backs to keep the likes of Nehe Milner-Skudder, Jordie Barrett, Julian Savea and Vince Aso on edge.

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