Moore out, Hore in doubt for Tests
May 15, 2010
Stephen Moore is assisted after breaking his jaw © Getty Images
Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore is set to miss Australia's early-season Tests and part of the Tri-Nations after breaking his jaw while Hurricanes and All Blacks counterpart Andrew Hore is also under an injury cloud in the wake of Friday's Super 14 action.
Moore was taken to hospital after suffering his injury in a sickening head clash with Crusaders prop Owen Franks as the Brumbies crashed out of play-off contention with a 40-22 loss in Christchurch. The 46-capped hooker will be out of action for up to three months, ruling him out of the Wallabies' June Tests against Fiji, England (twice) and Ireland, and putting him in doubt for Australia's first Tri-Nations match on July 24 against South Africa.
Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, whose side pushed through to the Super 14 play-offs by beating Hore's Hurricanes, has been in imposing form and he will now be an obvious pick at No.2 for Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.
Hore, meanwhile, was taken off with an elbow injury as the Hurricanes also saw their season end. The 43-cap No.2 took heavy contact at a breakdown and reeled away in pain before leaving the field in the 23rd minute.
Centre Conrad Smith's initial assessment was grim: "It must be pretty serious, he wouldn't go off if it was just a niggle."
Hore was set to undergo further assessment on Saturday before returning to Wellington with his team-mates. Smith said Hore's injury, which saw inexperienced replacement Dan Coles thrown in the deep end, was a blow to Hurricanes as they sought to extend their season.
"He's been brilliant all year. When we've been down he's the one to talk, he's the voice, he's been the leader for us all year. It was tough to lose him," his All Black teammate said.
The All Blacks next face Ireland and Wales (twice) in June.