Hurricanes suffer huge blow with Ardie Savea ruled out for much of season


Super Rugby starts on January 31 and runs uninterrupted next year, without a break in June for international matches.

Savea’s return to rugby could coincide with the play-offs, if the Hurricanes make the top eight.

The 2016 champions, who have made at least the semi-finals in each of the last five seasons, are in a rebuilding phase after several stalwarts moved overseas while All Blacks five-eighth Beauden Barrett has moved to the Auckland Blues.

The side could also potentially be looking for a new head coach with John Plumtree linked to the All Blacks set-up as an assistant to Ian Foster if he succeeds Steve Hansen.

Foster, an assistant to Hansen for the last eight years, and Canterbury Crusaders coach Scott Robertson are the only confirmed contenders for the job, with a decision due before the end of the month.

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Both have been asked to present their plans for a coaching team to New Zealand Rugby’s selection panel and TVNZ reported at the weekend that Plumtree had been approached by Foster to join him if he got the top job.

Plumtree, who was appointed to the Hurricanes role ahead of the 2019 season after four years as an assistant to Chris Boyd, has worked in South Africa and as a consultant for Japan’s national side.

The Hurricanes open their 2020 season in South Africa against the Stormers on February 1.



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