Cape Town – Chiefs loosehead prop Pauliasi Manu suffered a season-ending injury on Wednesday in preparation for Saturday’s meeting with the Force in Waikato.
The experienced front-rower ruptured his Achilles tendon while performing a low-intensity drill during training and is set to undergo surgery in the coming days.
The 28-year-old, who would have featured in his 50th game for the Waikato-based franchise this weekend, is expected to follow a six to nine-month rehabilitation programme following surgery.
Manu will now join other long-term absentees Dominic Bird and Brodie Retallick on the sidelines.
Atu Moli, the New Zealand U-20 captain, could be promoted to the bench for this Saturday’s fixture.