Ngani Laumape and Brodie Retallick are in doubt for New Zealand’s clash with South Africa after sustaining injuries in Saturday’s win over Argentina.
Both players were forced from the field inside 10 minutes at Trafalgar Park as the All Blacks’ depth was tested during a hard-earned 46-24 victory.
Laumape sustained knee ligament damage in a tackle before experienced lock Retallick landed awkwardly on his right shoulder amid a harrowing start that also saw Ben Smith suffer a blow to the head.
The concerns come at an inopportune time with the Rugby Championship leaders to meet the Springboks in Wellington next weekend.
“Ngani has done a knee ligament,” coach Steve Hansen confirmed after the match.
“We don’t know how long that’s going to be. We’ll get a better idea [in the next few days].
“Brodie’s shoulder is pretty sore but, again, we don’t know until we get them scanned on Monday. I can’t really tell you any more than that they’re both pretty sore boys.”
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) September 8, 2018
Hansen had made seven changes for the clash with the Pumas and was encouraged by the manner in which his younger players handled the occasion.
“They experienced something they haven’t before. It’s big step up from Super Rugby,” he said.
“We kept letting [Argentina] back into it. It’s a good lesson for our group. We showed a lot of strength of character.”
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