Season Cut Short As Bleyendaal Awaits Surgery

A serious neck injury has ended Tyler Bleyendaal’s rugby year.

Canterbury first five-eighth Bleyendaal is due to have surgery to correct a prolapsed disc in his neck and whether he will represent Munster, the Irish club he had agreed to join after the National Provincial Championship, will depend on if the operation is a success.

Bleyendaal, 24, had wanted to end his Canterbury career by helping them defend the NPC title before relocating to Ireland but the injury he suffered while playing Waikato in Hamilton last month has terminated those hopes.

”I am working with Munster to plan the rehab process and I’m looking forward to contributing to their campaign once I have fully recovered,” Bleyendaal said.

It is understood Bleyendaal’s team-mates were stunned when coaching staff advised them of the playmaker’s injury several days ago.

”Tyler is such a talented and smart player, so losing him for the rest of the season is a big blow,” Canterbury coach Scott Robertson said.

Richie Mo’unga and Colin Slade started at No 10 against Otago and Northland in Bleyendaal’s absence.

Robertson will name his side today to face Wellington at AMI Stadium on Friday night and has the option of starting Tom Taylor, who has recovered from his fractured eye socket, or Mo’unga at first-five.

Slade is in camp with the All Blacks as they prepare to play the Springboks in Wellington on Saturday night.

Bleyendaal, who was also a member of the Crusaders for four years, will be asked to contribute to the team’s strategies as they attempt to win their seventh consecutive title.

”Everyone in the team is gutted for Tyler but we are just wishing him the best possible recovery so he can get out on the footy field again soon,” Robertson said.

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