Injury sidelines new Blues recruit

MR FIXIT: Stags utility player Mark Jackman is hoping to return next year.
MR FIXIT: Stags utility player Mark Jackman is hoping to return next year.

New Southland rugby recruit Mark Jackman has had his introduction delayed.

The former Hawke's Bay player was scheduled to make his first appearance for new club Blues on Saturday in the Southland premier club clash against Star.

However, Blues coach Rodger Dawson said an injury Jackman picked up playing club rugby in Christchurch is likely to sideline him for a couple of weeks and he will now not take part in the game as first hoped.

Jackman is a New Zealand sevens squad member and played the last of his 31 games for Hawke's Bay in 2011.

He played the bulk of his games for Hawke's Bay at fullback.

Blues are out of the 2014 semifinal race with three games to play but Dawson said his team was looking to finish well and build for next year.

Despite the injury setback, Dawson hoped Jackman could still possibly get one or two club games in for Blues before the end of the club season.

While Blues are out of contention, in regards to the title race, their showdown with Star on Saturday at Centrepoint Park is still an important one.

Star need to win two more games to be certain of a place in the top four and will be targeting an improving Blues team as one of those wins.

In other premier fixtures on Saturday, Marist and Woodlands will square off at the Les George Oval, and Pirates-Old Boys and Midlands will meet at Surrey Park.

A dozen Southland players are likely to back up from Friday night's Barbarians game against the Highlanders in Invercargill to play club rugby on Saturday.

There are plenty of intriguing matchups in Southland's division one competition on Saturday.

The 2014 division one competition is a tight one with all six games expected to be close on Saturday.

Wyndham will take on neighbours Edendale in what is expected to be an intense clash, while Bluff will look to get back to their winning ways when they make the trip to take on Mossburn.

Pioneer will host Eastern Southland rivals Mataura, with Mataura favoured to take out that one, while Te Anau will look to retain their place at the top of the table with a win over Riversdale.

Drummond-Limehills-Star and Waikiwi have struggled in 2014 and will be eager for a win against each other on Saturday to try to avoid the wooden-spoon award.

It will be the final round of games in the division two competition on Saturday before the competition is split into top six and bottom six sections.

Saturday's games will have little riding on them, however, with the two sections already decided.

Marist, Collegiate, Riverton, Blues, Albion-Excelsior and Pirates-Old Boys are the top six while the bottom six teams are Waiau Star, Midlands, Woodlands, Wright's Bush, Central Pirates-Star and Balfour-Lumsden.

The Southland Times