Vodacom Super 14

Pretorius ruled out Super 14

2010-02-05 11:51
Ruled out (File)
Perth - The Western Force's Super 14 aspirations took a massive nose dive on Friday after it was confirmed star recruit Andre Pretorius will miss the entire tournament with a hamstring injury.

According to the ninemsn website, Pretorius, who played 31 Tests for South Africa but was lured to the Force as a replacement for flyhalf Matt Giteau, suffered a season-ending hamstring injury at training on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old only signed a one-year deal with the Force, meaning he may never play a Super 14 game for the Perth-based franchise.

"I've gone to work with the boys for so long now and it has been my best pre-season in many years," Pretorius said in a statement.

"I'm really disappointed that I won't be able to have the opportunity to represent the Western Force and play rugby with the new mates that I have made here.

"My body was in the best condition it has been in a long time and after watching the video footage of the training session and seeing when the injury occurred it didn't look like much at all.

"The physios at the club said it was just a freakish type of injury.

"I guess the only good thing from a personal point of view is that the Force has the best hamstring rehab program that I have ever worked with.

"It's a bitter pill to swallow after putting in all the hard yards and committing myself to a great bunch of guys at the club.

"I still want to remain involved and offer any assistance I can to help make this a successful season for the Force."

The Force are in talks with the ARU to see if they can replace Pretorius, who was the Force's marquee international player.

Clubs are only allowed to sign one international marquee player but the Force may ask for a special allowance given Pretorius won't be able to play at all.

"It is really unlucky for Andre, I feel gutted for him," coach John Mitchell said.

"From a playing perspective we now have to look at what we've got and move forward without him, that's just part of rugby."

One-Test Wallaby Mark Bartholomuesz is likely to take up the vital No 10 jersey in place of Pretorius while the Force explore their options.

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