Hertford Highlander

Weepu returns but not for Hurricanes


Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :All Blacks, In the news, RWC 2011, Super Rugby on 13 Apr 2011 at 06:54
Tagged with : , , , ,

Skysports.co.nz reports Piri Weepu’s low-key comeback, which can’t come soon enough for the in-strife Hurricanes, ramps up on Saturday when he plays the first of three matches in seven days.

Weepu will make a 20-30 minute cameo against Poneke from the bench, wearing the green-white-and-black of Wellington club side Wainuiomata this weekend.

Expect a larger-than-normal turnout at William Jones Park, as fans flock to see their hometown hero.

Weepu is excited. Saturday marks the end of five arduous injury-stricken months since the All Black halfback suffered a fractured leg and dislocated ankle at Westpac Stadium.

Six metal screws and a plate are reminders of the sickening incident against Taranaki.

After six weeks of running and slow speed progression – ‘not that I’m that fast’ – Weepu believes he’s 60-70 percent fit, but admits it’s been difficult keeping weight off.

Affectionately dubbed ‘bucket arse’ by skipper Andrew Hore, Weepu is where he needs to be for club rugby but will target shedding a couple more ‘kegs’ before his likely home return against the Queensland Reds on April 30.

“It doesn’t help when your teammates are bringing you KFC,” the 27-year-old joked with Sportal of his weight battle. “Once the cast came off things got a lot easier. When I started running it made a huge difference, everything has been going to plan.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to play club rugby. I just want Saturday to hurry up. I’m getting quite excited.”

Before he shaves his lengthy beard to celebrate a Super Rugby return, Weepu will turn out for the Hurricanes Development against the Chiefs on Wednesday, then again for Wainui the following Saturday.

The troubled ‘Canes have to solider through matches with the Cheetahs and Sharks without him.

“I’m not travelling to Africa. Hopefully I’m available, and if the coaches select me, my comeback game will be against the Reds,” he said.

Weepu’s influence, whether on the Hurricanes or All Blacks, is major. Every man and his dog will hope he recaptures the form, in time for the World Cup, which saw him regarded as arguably New Zealand’s No.1 halfback last year.

He’s a class act. An astute tactical reader of the game who can effortlessly switch between No.9 and first five-eighths. Not a skill many possess and one sorely missing from the Hurricanes.

“I guess it’s a balance between [Mark] Hammett’s coaching style and the way that we play,” Weepu said of why the ‘Canes are struggling.

“We’ve got guys like Andrew [Hore], Ma’a [Nonu], Conrad [Smith] and Jason [Eaton] who have been around for a while. You can see the team is relying on those four and some others to spark something from nothing.

“If you really want to be involved in this competition you’ve got to have patience.”

With Aaron Cruden out, Weepu felt wider training group pivot Beauden Barrett deserved his chance.

“When Beauden gets his opportunity I’m pretty sure he’ll step up.”


10 Comments

  • Don’t like this chap for some reason.

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.04.11 09:51:34 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 1) :

    You might like him less if he makes it back for the Sharks fixture ! 😆

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.04.11 09:55:11 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 2) : Nah, might just feel sorry for him then! 😉

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.04.11 09:56:32 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 3) : @Ben (Comment 3) : hahaha

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.04.11 09:59:10 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 1) : I’ve actually always liked the guy. Maybe because of being a fellow scrumhalf.

    Bucket arse. 😆

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.04.11 10:02:24 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 1) :
    Maybe its because a few years ago he slagged off Umhlanga because there was a sign warning visitors to a beach to be careful at night (or something to that nature, hmmm maybe it wasnt even Weepu) Felt so scared he had to whinge to the papers about it.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.04.11 10:04:26 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) : Then you’ll love Ricky! Bucket front and back! 🙂

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.04.11 10:04:37 by Ben Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 6) : Haha no that’s definitely not the reason I don’t like him.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.04.11 10:05:52 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 7) :
    Bucket Boep?
    Bucket Arse?
    Bucket Body?

    Bucket Body gets my vote.

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.04.11 10:12:05 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Next weekend when the Sharks host the Hurricanes, Willem Alberts will make Piri Wee or Pu his pants 😈

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.04.11 11:00:04 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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