World Cup over for All Blacks winger after broken leg on debut
World Cup over for All Blacks winger after broken leg on debut

World Cup over for All Blacks winger after broken leg on debut

SUPER RUGBY WINNER Waisake Naholo’s World Cup dream has been crushed, after it was confirmed the Highlanders star broke his leg in the Rugby Championship opener against Argentina yesterday.

The 24-year-old Fijian born winger made his debut in the 39-18 win in Christchurch, but was forced off early in the second half with what has since been confirmed as a cracked fibula.

Naholo stormed into the New Zealand squad after dazzling for the Highlanders as they won the Super Rugby title for the first time, scoring 13 tries in the campaign.

He’s now set for at least three months on the sidelines, ruling him out of contention for World Cup selection.

Head coach Steve Hansen said that the x-ray result has come as a huge surprise, with Naholo originally being able to put weight on his leg following the game.

“We are all a bit shocked about it because he was weight-bearing on it and pretty good,” Hansen said.

“But he got back here last night and got really sore, so the doctor thought he better have it scanned. And in the scan there is a very fine crack in it [the bone]. It just means three months out.”

Carter scored 14 points in his final Christchurch test match. Source: Photosport/Chris Symes/INPHO

Elsewhere, Hansen has shuffled his squad for next week’s trip to South Africa in The Rugby Championship, resting both Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams ahead of the back-to-back meetings with Australia.

Hansen reiterated that neither were dropped however, as he aims to rotate his 41-man squad ahead of the World Cup in September.

“Normally if we had a squad of 31, both of them would be in it and would be coming,” Hansen said.

“We are just building on what we are trying to do as a team. With a squad of 41 if we do have to bring people in then we have had guys who have a taste of it and know what it is like and can fit in pretty easily.”

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