Ngatai to miss Waratahs clash
Chiefs second fiveeighth Charlie Ngatai has failed to overcome his concussion symptoms and will miss the team’s Super Rugby clash with the Waratahs in Sydney tomorrow night. After picking up the knock late against the Highlanders in Hamilton on May 7, Ngatai then had the bye to recuperate, but didn’t recover sufficiently to play against the Rebels last Saturday. His symptoms were minor and he was expected to return for this final match before the June international window, but hasn’t quite met his requirements.
“He’s improved, just not quick enough,” coach Dave Rennie said. “We’re really cautious around all the concussions. I’m pretty confident that if we had a game next week, he’d be playing. But we haven’t.”
It’s a frustrating run for Ngatai, who had been in outstanding form for the Chiefs and really pushing his case for All Blacks selection. He should still find himself in the 32 named on Sunday, but his lack of recent game time is by no means ideal. Ngatai’s absence means that the Anton Lienert BrownSeta Tamanivalu midfield pairing which was excellent in the win over the Rebels, remains, with Tamanivalu having got over his sprained ankle.
CHIEFS: Damian McKenzie, Toni Pulu, Seta Tamanivalu, Anton Lienert-Brown, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden (co-c), Brad Weber, Tom Sanders, Sam Cane (co-c), Taleni Seu, Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Hiroshi Yamashita, Nathan Harris, Mitchell Graham. Reserves: Hika Elliot, Kane Hames, Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, Michael Allardice, Lachlan Boshier, Kayne Hammington, Andrew Horrell, Sam Vaka. Stuff Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org