Waikato's Anesi suffers neck fracture
February 10, 2007

Waikato Chiefs utility back Sosene Anesi broke two bones in his neck during his team's 32-39 Super rugby 14 loss to Wellington yesterday.

A team statement said today Anesi, who plays either wing or fullback, completed the match without any major problems but later complained of pain in his neck.

The 25-year-old underwent scans today that showed he had fractured two vertebrae.

He is in a stable condition at a Waikato hospital and is not suffering any form of paralysis.

The Chiefs, who flew to South Africa today, announced that Anthony Tahana would replace Anesi in the team.

Samoa-born Anesi made his test debut for the All Blacks as a replacement for Dan Carter in a 91-0 romp against Fiji in 2005 but has not played since and is no longer eligible to play for Samoa.

The Chiefs have named a 26-strong squad for the tour of South Africa where they will face the Stormers, Bulls and Cheetahs over the next three rounds before their bye weekend.

A team spokeswoman said Andrew van der Heidjen had been included in the squad as cover for Keith Robinson.

Their other lock, Jono Gibbes, tore a calf muscle in yesterday's match and is expected to be out of action for four to six weeks.

Van der Heidjen will stay with the team as long as Robinson, who has a calf strain, is unavailable for selection.

In the backs, Cory Aporo has been included in place of injured midfielders Tasesa Lavea and Richard Kahui.

Aporo will also remain as long as Kahui, who has a shoulder injury, is unavailable.

Kahui will remain home for treatment and will travel to South Africa if deemed fit to play. Lavea is out for approximately six to eight weeks with a medial ligament injury.

The spokeswoman said loose forward Sione Lauaki had a broken wrist but could be available for selection in one to two weeks.

Chiefs squad for South Acrican matches: Cory Aporo, Steven Bates, Ben Castle, Simms Davison, Aled de Malmanche, Stephen Donald, Marty Holah, Roy Kinikinilau, Tanerau Latimer, Sione Lauaki, Brendon Leonard, Toby Lynn, Lelia Masaga, Liam Messam, Jamie Nutbrown, Kristian Ormsby, Keith Robinson, Dwayne Sweeney, Anthony Tahana, Niva Ta'auso, Tane Tu'ipulotu, Andrew van der Heidjen, Craig West, Nathan White, Murray Williams, Tom Willis.

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