Chiefs lose two newbies

The Chiefs’ new signings Nepo Laulala and Dominic Bird both face lengthy spells on the sidelines.

Both forwards signed from the Crusaders to join the Waikato side for the 2016 season. Laulalala will miss 12 months of rugby after tearing the ACL, PCL and MCL ligaments in his right knee at training on Friday, while Bird will miss the first 10 weeks of Vodacom Super Rugby after fracturing his right foot on Monday.

Laulala’s injury is similar to the one suffered by former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers in 2014, which kept him out of action for nine months. Laulala is disappointed to be missing the entire 2016 season, but determined to make a full and quick recovery.

'It's obviously very disappointing to have injured my knee and be unable to play for the Chiefs for a while, but I'll be back real soon!’ Loller said in a Chiefs media release. ‘Once I'm through surgery, I'll be working hard to get back to full fitness as quickly as possible so I can get back out on the rugby field.’

Bird also expressed his disappointment, but he too is determined to get back on the field as soon as possible.

‘It’s not the start to the season I was hoping for, it’s as frustrating as ever, like any injury.  I’m looking at ten weeks of recovery so I’ll be doing what I can to get the rest of my body right in the meantime,’ Bird said.

Photo: Martin Hunter/Getty Images