News in Brief
Pretorius ruled out for season
February 5, 2010
Western Force fly-half Andre Pretorius fields questions form the media at the  offices of RugbyWA, Perth, Australia, August 31, 2009
Andre Pretorius' Western Force career is over before it has begun © Getty Images

  • Western Force fly-half Andre Pretorius will miss the 2010 Super 14 competition after sustaining a season ending hamstring injury in training this week.

    Pretorius, who joined the Force this season as the club's marquee player, felt pain in the back of his left leg during Wednesday's session and was treated by club medical staff. Follow-up scans yesterday and a consultation with a specialist this afternoon revealed the severity of the injury and showed the World Cup winning Springbok had torn his left hamstring from the bone. The injury will require surgical reattachment and an extended period on the sidelines, approximately three months, meaning he will not take part in this season.

    "It's a bitter pill to swallow after putting in all the hard yards and committing myself to a great bunch of guys at the club. I still want to remain involved and offer any assistance I can to help make this a successful season for the Force," Pretorius said.

    Western Force will now assess their options in relation to a replacement player and are in discussions with the Australian Rugby Union to derive a suitable outcome. ARU rules allow a club to recruit only one marquee player per season. Pretorius, who signed a one year contract with the franchise, the maximum allowed under the ARU marquee system, has recently concluded a multi-year contract to play in Japan following the 2010 Super 14 season.

    The Force wrapped up their pre-season campaign with a 31-12 victory over the Reds at the ME Stadium in Perth on Friday night. Tries from Matt Hodgson, Sam Harris and Richard Brown and 11 points from the boot of James O'Connor saw the hosts home. The game also saw Quade Cooper return to action for the Reds for the first time since being charged with burglary on the Gold Coast late last year. The Wallabies fly-half was only cleared to play on Wednesday after completing the first stage of a counselling and personal development program.

  • Flanker Karl Lowe snatched a late intercept try to hand the Hurricanes a 17-12 win over the Chiefs in both teams' final Super 14 pre-season match at Rotorua.

    In hot, hard conditions, Lowe's 70m try made the difference after the Chiefs had turned around a 7-10 halftime deficit through a try to stand-in captain Sione Lauaki. The Hurricanes' first-half lead was built around unconverted tries to outside back Tamati Ellison and flanker Scott Waldrom while flanker Tanerau Latimer snared the Chiefs' lone first-half score. Neither team appeared to suffer any serious injury concerns.

    The result completed a perfect pre-season record for the Hurricanes, who have also beaten the Blues and ACT Brumbies in trial matches before they open the Super 14 next Friday against the Blues in Auckland. Conversely, the Chiefs are winless, having also suffered narrow losses to the Highlanders and Blues. They leave on Sunday ahead of their opening match against the Sharks in Durban.

  • Sale's Marika Vakacegu has been called before an RFU disciplinary panel after allegedly making contact with the eyes of Joe Ansbro during his side's Anglo-Welsh Cup defeat to Northampton on January 29. He will appear before the panel on February 9.

  • Racing Metro scrum-half Mathieu Loree has been banned for three months after testing positive for Cannabis. The player will have to face a judiciary again, however, with this ban not taking into account a second failed test.

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