Tasman prop Sam Prattley has been called into the
Highlanders as the side's front row stocks thin out.
Prattley, who will turn 23 next month, played for Tasman in
this year's ITM Cup, although he came off the bench in some
He played for the New Zealand under-20 side in 2010 and
debuted for Tasman in the same year. He has the ability to
play both sides of the scrum and was a member of the
Crusaders' wider training squad last season.
Although the Highlanders do not play a pre-season game until
February 2, they are facing a minor propping crisis.
Chris King has had a shoulder operation and is on limited
training, while Ma'afu Fia is also not 100 % fit after
surgery on his thumb.
With star new signing All Black Tony Woodcock not joining the
team until the start of February, last year's captain, Jamie
Mackintosh, is the only fit prop in the 31-man squad.
King and Fia are scheduled to be back and available by the
start of the season but Prattley has been called in to cover
and will be an option should they fail to recover in time.
King struggled with a groin injury for the majority of last
Experienced prop Bronson Murray, who has been a member of the
Highlanders for the past two seasons, is a member of the
team's wider training squad.