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Injury won't stop Chiefs skipper running out one final time

Date

Evan Pegden

In doubt … Chiefs skipper Craig Clarke.

In doubt … Chiefs skipper Craig Clarke. Photo: Getty Images

THE Chiefs will do everything they can to get their skipper on the field for Saturday night's Super Rugby final against the Sharks.

It has been revealed Craig Clarke suffered a medial ligament strain during the semi-final win over the Crusaders last Friday, something that was kept quiet after the match.

''He'll be on light duties till about Thursday when we'll make a decision,'' Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie said yesterday.

Rennie said Clarke was aware during the match that he had injured his knee, and the team doctor had kept an eye on him.

''While he was warm he still got around pretty well so if we can get it to where it was last Friday then we'll look at maybe injecting him, strap it up and get him back out,'' he said.

Clarke attended the post-match media conference on Friday night, and neither he nor Rennie gave any hint of an injury at that stage.

Rennie said yesterday Clarke was an integral part of the Chiefs pack, highly familiar with the team patterns and calls, and would be given every chance to come right.

The injury to the two-metre tall Taranaki second-rower comes just as the All Blacks coaches have hinted at interest in him after a couple of seasons of being ignored despite some outstanding form.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said yesterday the selectors would be watching Clarke in the final.

Clarke would be the logical cover for the injured Ali Williams in an All Blacks squad where Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano and Clarke's second-row partner from the Chiefs, Brodie Retallick, are expected to be front-runners.

Rennie noted the irony, saying it was not the best time for Clarke to get injured in terms of the chances of higher honours.

''He's certainly up there with the best locks [second-rowers] in the country, and while I know his mind is firmly on our stuff at the moment, this is what happens when a team goes well - people stand up and start to get recognised at the next level.

''It's great for our guys and great for Craig.''

Rennie confirmed Clarke was the only serious injury concern for the Chiefs for the final, other injuries being limited to bumps and bruises.

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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