Patrick McKendry

Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Rugby: Big doubt over Willison for Brumbies' clash

Jackson Willison. Photo / Getty Images
Jackson Willison. Photo / Getty Images

Blues centre Jackson Willison has been all but ruled out of Friday's match against the Brumbies in Canberra.

Jackson, an excellent performer in the midfield in the Blues' two victories over the Cheetahs and Highlanders, has a rib injury and a knee problem.

His place is likely to go to George Moala, with Tevita Li the main candidate for the left wing.

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan said this morning that captain and flanker Luke Braid will likely start from the reserves bench as he is also carrying a few niggles following a heavy workload.

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Loose forward Jerome Kaino is likely to be the captain on Friday.

Adding to the Blues' injury issues, Tom Donnelly has been ruled out with a calf problem, with Hayden Triggs and Liaki Moli the only two fit locks.

No8 Peter Saili also remains out with a foot problem, but his brother, midfielder Francis, returns this week from a similar injury. He is likely to start on the bench.

"The bye is coming at a good time [after Brumbies], I think we've got 12 players injured,'' coach Kirwan said.

"It's the competition isn't it. It's something you need to prepare for and something we spoke about last year. Part of the reason for playing a bigger squad and giving guys opportunities was so you've got better cover for these moments.''

- APNZ

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