Vodacom Super 14

Leonard set for Chiefs return

2009-05-11 12:28
Back in the frame (File)
Auckland - Brendon Leonard is set to add extra firepower to the Chiefs as New Zealand's three Super 14 rugby title hopefuls reported positive injury news on Monday.

All Blacks livewire Leonard is "progressing well" in his recovery from a sternum injury, a medical update from the second-placed Chiefs told the NZ Herald.

He is to be assessed again later in the week but the signs look good that Leonard will replace Toby Morland in the starting team to face the Brumbies in Hamilton on Friday.

That could put the Chiefs at full strength for a game where a bonus point will be enough to see them qualify for the semi-finals for just the second time. Victory would guarantee them their first home semi-final.

They will sweat this week on a bruised calf suffered by classy centre Richard Kahui, which was labelled a "day by day assessment" by medical staff.

The third-placed Hurricanes, who lost 16-8 to the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday, emerged with wounded pride but no physical damage.

All Blacks wing Hosea Gear, who suffered what was expected to be a season-ending knee injury last month, came through a second weekend of club play unscathed and could be in the frame for Saturday's match against the Reds in Brisbane.

The fourth-placed Crusaders have emerged better than first feared from their 32-12 defeat of the Reds.

A number of players were substituted for injury reasons but none have proved serious ahead of Saturday's must-win match against the Blues in Auckland.

Locks Brad Thorn (hamstring) and Isaac Ross (bruised thigh), flank Kieran Read (bruised thigh), scrumhalf Andy Ellis (bruised hand) and centre Ryan Crotty (bruised thigh) are all expected to be available.


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