Outlook not promising for Seiuli

Aki Seiuli. Photo: Getty Images
Aki Seiuli. Photo: Getty Images
Otago and Highlanders prop Aki Seiuli appears destined for a lengthy spell on the sideline.

Seiuli was taken off early in the second half of last Friday night’s game against Northland with what looked like a nasty knee injury.

Seiuli (25) went in to try to compete at a breakdown but was twisted in the collision and the pressure went on his knee. He limped off and was carted away on a stretcher after the game.

Otago coach Ben Herring said Seiuli was set to meet medical staff yesterday but it was not a good outlook for the prop.

He had badly injured his knee and would not be back for Otago this season. How long he was out would be up to the medical team but, if he has badly damaged ligaments, which is feared, he could be out for six months if not more.

Seiuli is contracted to the Highlanders next season.

Otago has brought in Harbour prop Giorgio Bower into its squad and also has the option of former Tasman loosehead prop Tom Hill, who is already in the squad.

It is a blow for Otago which has been hard hit by injuries. Flanker James Lentjes (flanker) and Josh Larsen (elbow) are gone for the season while halfback Josh Renton (thumb) could be back but not until the end of the season.

Hooker Liam Coltman is with the All Blacks again this week and will not play against Southland in Invercargill on Saturday.

With Coltman not playing and the other injuries, Otago has lost four Super Rugby players which puts a hole in any side.

The Highlanders will head to Southbridge to play their final pre-season game next season.

The small central Canterbury town will host the fourth annual Farmlands Cup challenge. The game was played in Waimumu this year, at the same time as the Southern Field Days.

A date has yet to be announced for the fixture but it will be after the pre-season game between the Highlanders and the Waratahs in Alexandra on February 1. It is likely to be played on February 7.

The Highlanders begin their Super Rugby season against the Chiefs in Hamilton on February 15.

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