The Chiefs have been handed a double injury blow with Nepo Laulala and Dominic Bird facing long stints on the sideline.
All Blacks tighthead prop Nepo Laulala will miss the entire 2016 rugby season after sustaining a serious knee injury at a team training on Friday afternoon.
Scans have revealed that Laulala has torn three ligaments in his right knee; the ACL, PCL and MCL. He will undergo knee reconstruction surgery and an expected recovery time is 12 months ruling the 24-year-old out of all rugby for the year.
"It's obviously very disappointing to have injured my knee and be unable to play for the Gallagher Chiefs for a while, but I'll be back real soon! Once I'm through surgery, I'll be working hard to get back to full fitness as quickly as possible so I can get back out on the rugby field. Though I'm unable to play for a little while, I'll be supporting the boys and doing as much as I can for the team," Nepo Laulala said.
Bird will sit out the first 10 weeks of Super Rugby after fracturing his right foot. The 24-year-old lock was injured during training on Monday.