Lock concern for Highlanders

Date published: June 7 2015

The Highlanders are sweating over their depleted lock stocks ahead of their final regular-season match of 2015 against the Blues this coming weekend.

It appears they lost their two starting second-rows from Friday's big loss to the Hurricanes, which means the squad is now really struggling in that area.

"It looks like we've lost Tom Franklin for the season, he's ruptured his bicep and Alex Ainley's twisted his knee, it looks like an MCL," head coach Jamie Joseph told stuff.co.nz following the 56-20 defeat to the tournament leaders in Napier.

"We've already lost three locks with Joe Wheeler [knee] probably for the season. He's jogging around now, but he certainly won't be ready next week. Mark Reddish is out with a broken hand so that's three of four, then Ainley who has been a real find for us."

He added on Ainley: "We just hope he doesn't wake up in the morning too sore. "Reddish we thought it was a scaphoid, he's got a crack in his hand. He's still in a cast, but hopefully we can accelerate that cast removal.

"That's not good going into the final stage of the competition. Fortunately Joe Latta came on and had a big game. what does that all mean? We have to dump this game really, look forward to the Blues and hopefully secure a home quarter-final."