Ngatai to return after a year out with concussion

    2017-05-04 10:09

    One test All Blacks centre Charlie Ngatai will make his return to Super Rugby on Saturday after almost a year out of the game due to concussion.

    The 26-year-old, who made his test debut against Samoa in 2015 and was then selected in the All Blacks squad last year but never played due to the concussion, will start for the Waikato Chiefs against the Queensland Reds in New Plymouth.

    Ngatai sustained the injury playing against the Otago Highlanders on May 7, 2016 and was ruled out for the rest of the year as he failed to overcome the symptoms.

    He returned to the field for his lower level club side three weeks ago and gradually built how many minutes he played, with Chiefs coach Dave Rennie saying earlier this week he was pleased with the centre's return.

    "Obviously really nice for Charlie, it's been a long period for him," Rennie said earlier this week. "But he's worked really hard, he's got himself in good nick.

    "We've all been really cautious around it. He's confident. So fantastic to have him back in. In my opinion, he was probably the best player in Super Rugby until he got injured last year."

    Ngatai will link with Anton Lienert-Brown in the centres for the clash in New Plymouth.

    Lienert-Brown was arguably the player who benefitted the most from Ngatai's absence last year, being plucked from virtual obscurity by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and impressing enough to earn nine caps.

    All Blacks hooker Nathan Harris will also make his Super Rugby return after he suffered a knee injury last August.

    The 25-year-old suffered the injury while in camp with the All Blacks and was the second serious injury to strike the mobile hooker in his career.

    He also suffered a bad ankle injury while playing the United States in late 2014, which ruled him out for much of 2015.

    His return, from the bench, could not have come at a better time for Hansen with his first-choice hooker Dane Coles under an injury cloud in the final weeks before the British and Irish Lions tour.

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    05 August 2017
    29 July 2017
    22 July 2017
    21 July 2017
    15 July 2017
    14 July 2017
    08 July 2017
    07 July 2017
    01 July 2017
    30 June 2017
    09 June 2017
    03 June 2017
    02 June 2017
    28 May 2017
    27 May 2017
    26 May 2017
    21 May 2017
    20 May 2017
    19 May 2017
    13 May 2017
    12 May 2017
    06 May 2017
    05 May 2017
    30 April 2017
    29 April 2017
    28 April 2017
    22 April 2017
    21 April 2017
    15 April 2017
    14 April 2017
    09 April 2017
    08 April 2017
    07 April 2017
    02 April 2017
    01 April 2017
    31 March 2017
    25 March 2017
    24 March 2017
    18 March 2017
    17 March 2017
    11 March 2017
    10 March 2017
    04 March 2017
    03 March 2017
    02 March 2017
    25 February 2017
    24 February 2017
    23 February 2017


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    The 2017 Super Rugby tournament has reached its quarter-final stage. When all is said and done, who emerges victorious?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.