WELLINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - Former Cheetahs and Lions lock Andries Ferreira has been signed by the Wellington Hurricanes for the remainder of the Super Rugby season after Sam Lousi was ruled out with a pectoral muscle injury that required surgery, the team said on Monday.
Ferreira joined the team on Saturday and attended his first training run on Sunday.
Assistant coach Carlos Spencer said the 1.97m (6-ft 5-in), 120kg Ferreira would step in to fill the massive gap left by Lousi, who has been scratched for the rest of the season.
“We’re hoping he’ll bring physicality. He’s a solid boy,” Spencer told Stuff Media on Monday. “From his experience at the Lions, he’s a pretty physical ball player. He likes to carry. He’s good at set piece, which is what we need.
“We had a couple of unfortunate injuries in our lock department, so to bring him in to strengthen that is definitely a bonus.”
The 28-year-old would be available for selection for the Hurricanes’ game against the Otago Highlanders on Friday, the team’s first game at Wellington Regional Stadium this season.
The Hurricanes beat the ACT Brumbies 43-13 in Palmerston North last Friday, and Spencer said the return of All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett and storming play by Dane Coles, Ardie Savea and Ngani Laumape had reinvigorated the side after a 38-22 loss to the Canterbury Crusaders in week two.
Coles, who has had two injury-blighted seasons, was back to his rampaging best against the Brumbies and scored two tries. Laumape notched a hat-trick on his home ground.
Savea, who missed the loss to the Crusaders, also proved a handful for the Brumbies as he beat 11 defenders and ran for 78 metres.
“It was a tremendous difference just having those guys,” Spencer added. “Beaudy was in for the first time and just having his voice and how he controls the game and people around him.
“It was good to see ‘Coles-y’ back to some great form. Ardie, some of the runs he’s doing and some of the breakdown stuff he’s done is very valuable.”
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ian Ransom