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Triple injury boost for Chiefs as Hurricanes ponder protection for Dane Coles' ribs

Saturday morning is going to be intense.
Jul 27th 2016, 11:08 AM 4,025 4

WAIKATO CHIEFS ANNOUNCED a huge boost today when captain Sam Cane was cleared to play their Super Rugby semi-final against the Hurricanes in Wellington (08.35 Saturday, Sky Sports 1) along with All Black centre Seta Tamanivalu.

Sam Cane Sam Cane carrying against the Western Force in March. Source: Photosport/Bruce Lim/INPHO

Cane was concussed and needed stitches after a clash of heads when the Chiefs thrashed the Western Stormers 60-21 at the weekend, and missed the second half in Cape Town.

But coach Dave Rennie said Cane had passed concussion protocols and was set to face the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.

“He’s bounced back really well,” Rennie told reporters.

“We thought it was pretty minor and he was grumpy that we took him off but it was the right call and we’re confident he will be ready to go.”

Rennie confirmed Tamanivalu, who missed the win over the Stormers with a knee injury, would also return for the 2012 and 2013 champions against the Hurricanes.

“Seta will be pretty important,” said Rennie. “He’s a big man who carries hard and he draws a lot of attention, so it’s nice to have that option.”

Dane Coles after scoring a try Dane Coles after scoring a try in the Hurricanes narrow loss to the Chiefs in April. Source: Photosport/Marty Melville/INPHO

The Chiefs are also hopeful backrower Michael Leitch will take the field after two months out with a broken thumb.

The Hurricanes are sweating on the fitness of their own captain after Dane Coles was taken from the field with what appeared to be serious rib damage when his side demolished the Coastal Sharks 41-0 on Saturday.

Fairfax New Zealand reported Coles had damaged his rib cartilage but was desperate to play and contemplating wearing a rib protector for the semi-final.

The hooker led the Hurricanes to the final last year, only to lose to the Otago Highlanders.

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