Nareki out, Coltman available for Otago

Jona Nareki
Jona Nareki
Otago will be without form winger Jona Nareki this week and for the Mitre 10 Cup Championship final - should it make it - but absent hooker Liam Coltman will be sighted.

The side is not carrying too many other injured players and should be physically fine after a tough game last Saturday.

Nareki suffered a split scrotum in the win over Waikato, leaving the field in the early stages of the second half, only to have to come back on for the final two minutes with his wing colleague Mitchell Scott off because of a leg injury.

"He came off, but when there were injuries in the game, he had to come back on with his smashed testicle, which was operated on this morning," Otago coach Ben Herring told Newshub on Sunday.

Liam Coltman
Liam Coltman
"If you know Jona, he's a particularly buoyant fella, but the comment was, 'don't worry mate, it's just a small operation'," Herring added.

Nareki had the operation in Hamilton on Sunday morning and flew back with the team that afternoon, but he will not be able to play for between four and six weeks.

Nareki, who is believed to have been offered a contract with the Hurricanes but is committed to sevens for the next year, has been in top form for Otago this year and is a constant threat on the left wing.

Coltman has been with the All Blacks for virtually the whole season and has had a heavy training load. He has been named in the 19 man squad to travel to Japan to play against the Cherry Blossoms on November 3.

Coltman has played just one half for Otago this season because of All Black commitments though he only played two minutes in the entire Rugby Championship.

Contrary to earlier reports, Coltman is available to line up against Hawke's Bay, before leaving for the Japan test.

Hawke's Bay will be without its Highlanders hooker as Ash Dixon recovers from a knee injury. Dixon picked up the injury in the third round of the MItre 10 Cup and is not expected to be back training until late next month.

Key Magpies loose forward Gareth Evans was picked for the 19 man All Black squad yesterday and will line up for Hawke's Bay against Otago in the semifinal this week.


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