Ngatai’s return for Chiefs still uncertain

The Chiefs are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach with Charlie Ngatai as the All Blacks centre continues to suffer concussion symptoms.

Ngatai hasn’t travelled with the Chiefs to play in their historic Super Rugby clash with the Crusaders in Fiji on Friday.

The 25-year-old was forced to miss the All Blacks Test series against Wales and Chiefs coach Dave Rennie isn’t prepared to put a time frame on his return.

“He’s turned a corner but it’s been six or seven weeks since he played, so from that point of view he probably needs a couple of weeks of conditioning and getting back into things before being even considered,” Rennie said on Tuesday.

The Chiefs injury woes also continue with lock Michael Allardice the latest to be ruled out for the season, meaning they are currently missing 16 players.

But Rennie isn’t dwelling on the problem after his squad stepped up in their impressive 40-7 victory over Wales.

“When you get a lot of injuries you bring other guys in who get exposed and improve.

“That’s why we are in a pretty good state and there are guys who played well in that Welsh game who are going to get another crack.”

Meanwhile, Hika Elliot has defied the odds and is set to pull on the Chiefs jersey in Fiji.

The former All Blacks hooker’s career almost came to an abrupt end in late 2013 when he seriously injured his neck playing for the Maori All Blacks against Canada.

He missed the following year’s Super Rugby season following an operation and was considering retirement before an ankle injury to Nathan Harris opened the door for a return.

“To come back from that sort of injury and be closing in on my 100th game for a franchise I have a real passion for is pretty humbling and a blessing,” Elliot said.

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