All Blacks flanker Sam Cane is still in a race against time to make the World Cup squad after he fractured a vertebrae in his neck against the Springboks in their test at Loftus in October.
Cane collided with Springboks loose forward Francois Louw late in the first half of the match which New Zealand won when the Boks imploded in the last ten minutes.
He was in a neck brace for months after the collision that necessitated an operation in South Africa before he could return home.
Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper this week gave some hope to fans that the cane could return before the Rugby World Cup in September. He said that Cane goes back to a specialist early in April, “and hopefully they give him the green flag end of April or May," Cooper said.
Cooper also announced that All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick will join Cane as co-captain of the team.
"We've kept with him (Cane) the whole time. He's a great leader and so he will captain the Chiefs for 2019 and co-captain with Brodie Retallick.
"While Sam is not playing he'll be doing a lot of the captaincy off the field and Brodie will be leading the team on the field," Cooper said in a radio interview.