Good news for Hurricanes on Savea recovery

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It was expected he would miss much of the competition after surgery on a knee injury suffered in the Rugby World Cup semifinal loss to England last year.


However, new Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland said ahead of Saturday's warm-up game with the Crusaders in Ashburton that it was looking as if Savea could be back by round nine of the competition.


"He's doing everything right at the moment and he's coming along nicely," he said.


But in the meantime they had been putting the work in with the players they had available and they remained confident they can get off to a good start.


Saturday's warmup game was important for the Hurricanes' processes and testing where the side was at in its preparation for the campaign.


"The score at the end of the day is not the biggest thing as both teams are trying to grow their game so there'll not be too much banter tomorrow," he said.


Holland had been part of the team Crusaders coach Scott Robertson would have taken into the All Blacks role had he been successful but he said once Robertson missed out, he had been able to move on quickly with what he considered to be a special job with the Hurricanes.


"I've got enough to think about here and enough to be excited about here," he said.


While he had replaced John Plumtree, who was aligned with new All Blacks coach Ian Foster's coaching team, Holland said the pair had discussed what was happening at the Hurricanes and he was comfortable with how it had turned out.


Opening their 2020 campaign with an overseas trip against the Stormers in Cape Town and the Jaguares in Buenos Aires, Holland said they were conscious of the type of teams they were up against, especially the South Americans who would be playing them in 35 degrees heat and with their big pack they would be looking to dominate the Hurricanes.


"We're putting plans in place to work around that and to put our game to the Stormers first up. It's a good time to get away, bond and do what we do during the week and hope to fire first up," he said.


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