Hurricanes track 3 key injuries
Wellington - Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd will give Nehe Milner-Skudder and Cory Jane until Thursday to prove their fitness for Saturday's Super Rugby final and said he was encouraged by how his other injury worry, Ardie Savea, looked on Monday.
Milner-Skudder and flank Savea, brother of All Blacks wing Julian, have been the finds of the season for the Hurricanes but both were injured in the semi-final victory over the Brumbies last weekend.
The Highlanders, who provide the opposition in Saturday's all-New Zealand final, will have drawn a crumb of comfort from the fact that the Hurricanes' high octane onslaught dipped slightly after their departure. All Blacks winger Jane missed the match with a hamstring tear, his absence causing Milner-Skudder to give up the number 15 shirt to Tom Marshall.
Milner-Skudder looked equally effective on the wing with a string of breaks out wide before being taken off at halftime with a hamstring problem.
Savea was at his rampaging best at open side flank and scored a try off the back of a maul before he too came off after 51 minutes with a knee problem.
"(Savea) pulled up pretty well to be honest, so that's promising," Boyd told local media on Monday.
"Nehe and Cory's hamstrings will undergo further testing and evaluation this afternoon.
"I don't suspect either will be declared in or out until Thursday.
"I think Nehe will be fine. We'll find out a bit more about Cory today. His is a little more problematic and we won't know for sure until at least Thursday.
"At the end of the day there's not much after Saturday for (Milner-Skudder), so if we can get him across the line to start we will. We'll prepare as if they're not going to be there, but if we can get them across the line they'll play."
If Jane and Milner-Skudder are fit to join Julian Savea in the back three for the Wellington Stadium clash, Boyd would be robbed of his back-up place kicker.
Marshall took over duties from Beauden Barrett after some early wayward kicks against the Brumbies but Boyd said his flyhalf, who was feeling his hip after over-training last week, would reclaim the kicking tee if he was able.
"Beaudie will be the first-choice if he's able to kick," Boyd said.