Barrett con­cern for NZ ahead of Lions tour

New Straits Times - - Sport -

PRETORIA: New Zealand have a new in­jury con­cern ahead of the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions tour after fly­half Beau­den Barrett was a late with­drawal from the Hur­ri­canes’ Su­per Rugby clash with the Bulls in Pretoria on Satur­day hav­ing com­plained of mys­tery headaches.

Hur­ri­canes coach Chris Boyd said the de­ci­sion to with­draw Barrett was made after doc­tors were un­able to iso­late the rea­sons for his con­di­tion.

Barrett had taken a blow to his head in the 61-7 vic­tory over the Chee­tahs in Welling­ton on May 20, but had passed a con­cus­sion test at the time.

“When we came over here (to South Africa) he’s had some headaches and the doc­tor was un­able to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween the al­ti­tude, the hu­mid­ity, the air con­di­tion­ing ... be­cause when you come over here on a short turn­around, the headaches and those types of symp­toms are pretty nor­mal,” Boyd said.

“But the fact that he couldn’t iso­late those out from the back­end of the game against the Chee­tahs meant that we were very cau­tious and with­drew him out of the game,” he was quoted by as say­ing after his side’s 34-20 vic­tory over the Bulls.

The Hur­ri­canes have al­ready lost cap­tain Dane Coles, who has been miss­ing since the mid­dle of March, to sim­i­lar symp­toms, but Boyd says the cir­cum­stances around Barrett’s case are dif­fer­ent as Coles’ prob­lems arose after he ex­er­cised.

Barrett is the in­cum­bent fly­half for the world cham­pi­ons All Blacks, who play the first of three ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated Tests against the tour­ing Lions on June 24. Reuters

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