New Zealand have been dealt a blow with All Blacks full-back Damian McKenzie set to miss this year’s Rugby World Cup after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen announced the ACL injury on Monday after McKenzie was hurt during the Chiefs’ Super Rugby win over the Blues on Saturday.
McKenzie limped off the Waikato Stadium pitch after attempting to make a tackle early in the second half of the Chiefs’ 33-29 victory.
The 23-year-old – a 21-time international – is now all but out of the World Cup picture, with the tournament scheduled to get underway in Japan in September.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) April 15, 2019
“He’s done an ACL and looks to be out for eight to nine months which is a real shame for him,” Hansen said.
“His World Cup opportunity’s gone but he’s still young enough to make probably the next two. It’s just important he gets his knee right and takes the time to be able to come back and achieve the dreams that he wants to achieve.
“It’s sad for him obviously. It creates another opportunity for someone else. We’ve got to expect injuries and there will be more than just him I’d say.”
Defending champions the All Blacks will face South Africa, Italy, Canada and Namibia in Pool B.
New Zealand will open their title defence against South Africa in Yokohama on September 21.
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