Blues' injury toll rises with Michael Collins and Josh Goodhue ruled out of Highlanders clash




The injury-ravaged Blues are again searching for replacements ahead of their Super Rugby clash with the Highlanders in Auckland.

Michael Collins (Blues), 
APRIL 14, 2018 - Rugby : 
2018 Super Rugby match 
between Sunwolves 10-24 Blues 
at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. 
Copyright photo: YUTAKA/AFLO SPORT /

Blues fullback Michael Collins in action against the Sunwolves during a Super Rugby match in Tokyo.

Source: Photosport

Fullback Michael Collins and lock Josh Goodhue are the latest to join a lengthy casualty list that now numbers 18 players, six of whom are out for the season.

Collins and Goodhue were injured in the 24-10 win over the Sunwolves in Tokyo, with Collins (hand) out for around five weeks and Goodhue (shoulder) sidelined for up to a month.

Down on numbers, coach Tana Umaga promoted Northland winger Jordan Hyland from the Blues Development side against the Sunwolves and he responded with two tries.

New Zealand Under-20s representative Orbyn Leger, called in during the pre-season as a short-term replacement, also impressed in Tokyo in the midfield.

Another thrust into the fray was Auckland lock Ben Neenee, a late call-up to the bench.

Umaga says it seems all New Zealand teams are suffering a high attrition rate and the Blues are no different.

"It's testing our depth and our resources but at the same time it's giving opportunities to others," he said.

Blues lock Josh Goodhue and Chiefs lock Tyler Ardron compete in a line out during a Super Rugby match - Chiefs v Blues played at FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand on Saturday 7 April 2018.

Copyright photo: © Bruce Lim /

Blues lock Josh Goodhue and Chiefs lock Tyler Ardron compete in a line out during a Super Rugby match at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton.

Source: Photosport

"It is challenging to build momentum when we're changing so many players and now bringing in new faces but we're fortunate our Development team coaches have done such a great job with the next layer of players."

The Blues, who sit bottom of the NZ conference, face the Highlanders, the team immediately above them, on Friday night.

Umaga is due to name his side tomorrow.

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