Last Updated: 12/05/19 9:11am
New Zealand loose forward Liam Squire’s comeback from injury has been delayed after “personal issues” ruled him out of the Otago Highlanders’ South Africa tour.
Battling hip and knee problems, Squire has not played a competitive game since facing Ireland for the All Blacks in November.
And although the blindside flanker was selected for the Highlanders’ home match against Argentina’s Jaguares on Saturday he was a late withdrawal from the match-day line-up.
Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger told local media Squire would stay at home to deal with “personal, family issues” after the 32-27 win over the Jaguares.
“It’s important that our boys are in the space to play the games and at the moment Liam’s got to attend to a few things that he needs to deal with,” he said.
Fellow All Black Jackson Hemopo, who sustained a knee injury last week, has also been ruled out of the South Africa games against the Lions and the Stormers.
However, All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo, who also suffered a knee injury a month ago, has been cleared to tour in better news.
Having lost co-captain and inspirational All Blacks fullback Ben Smith for the rest of the Super Rugby regular season, the Highlanders did well to hold off the in-form Jaguares at Forsyth Barr Stadium and keep in touch with the playoffs positions.