Highlanders No 8 Nasi Manu is facing a long spell on the
sideline after a serious leg injury last night.
Manu was carted off the field near the end of the first half
and coach Jamie Joseph said after the game it appeared as
though Manu has either broken his foot or his ankle.
''It is a real shame for Nasi as he has been training really
well and got himself in top condition,'' Joseph said.
He was heading to the hospital after the game for an X-ray.
Manu had enjoyed a productive first half and was carting the
ball up well, making the advantage line. He has been a rock
for the franchise over the past couple of years, having
played every game in 2011 and missing just one last year.
With Manu off the field and Adam Thomson on his way to a club
side in Japan, the Highlanders loose forward trio had a
different look to it last night.
Manu was replaced by Elliot Dixon, who was busy in the second
half but is still inexperienced at this level.
Joseph said injuries had struck hard for his team already.
Another No 8 option, Jake Paringatai, would play a game for
the Highlanders development side in Christchurch today after
not playing any pre-season due to a broken handThe side had a
bye next week and although it was early in the competition,
with the amount of injuries the team had it was coming at the
right time, Joseph said.
The Highlanders' next game is against the Cheetahs in
Invercargill on March 9.