New Highlanders loose forward Jake Paringatai has broken his
right hand and will be sidelined for six weeks.
Paringatai (32), who made his Super rugby debut for the
Crusaders in 2007, came back from Japan to join Jamie
Joseph's team this year.
''In the first half hour of training this year, someone
landed on his hand and broke it,'' Joseph said.
''He turned up in really good nick.''
Paringatai made a big impact on Dunedin club rugby when he
played for Southern a decade ago. He made his first-class
debut for Northland in 2003.
Joseph said the Highlanders were looking for a fullback
replacement because of the long-term injuries to Declan
O'Donnell and All Black Tamati Ellison.
''Stocks are pretty low but no doubt we will find someone
competent enough,'' Joseph said.
This would appear to indicate that regular fullback Ben Smith
will play at centre, to replace Ellison.
Smith was groomed as an understudy to incumbent Conrad Smith
on the All Blacks' recent northern hemisphere tour.