Friday, 26 April, 2019

New Zealand's McKenzie to miss World Cup

Chiefs utility Damian Mc Kenzie limps off the field against the Blues in Hamilton on Saturday night MICHAEL BRADLEY GETTY IMAGESChiefs utility Damian Mc Kenzie limps off the field against the Blues in Hamilton on Saturday night
Shannon Reynolds | 17 April, 2019, 10:44

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.

Utility back Damian McKenzie was ruled out of the World Cup today in a blow to the All Blacks as coach Steve Hansen warned it was likely more players could miss out through injury.

Mckenzie has been diagnosed with a tear of the ACL - a key ligament in the knee. He'll still be young enough to make probably the next two.

His fellow All Blacks Brodie Retallick and Nathan Harris also took severe knocks in the Chiefs' 33-29 victory but their injuries were said to be not serious.

"It's sad for him but obviously creates a dream for somebody else. We've got to expect injuries and there will be more than just him I'd say".

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Williams' absence from Wellington after he had keyhole surgery on his right knee last Friday wasn't a big concern, said Hansen, who added there was still plenty of time for the big midfielder to return for the Blues before the All Blacks' first test of the year against Argentina in Buenos Aires on July 21.

McKenzie is originally from Invercargill and went to school in Christchurch.

Since making his debut in 2016, McKenzie has scored 12 tries in his 23 test appearances, and while his best performances have come at full back, he was a viable cover option at outhalf, behind Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo'unga.

The Rugby World Cup door may still be ajar for Ma'a Nonu despite being excluded from the All Blacks' "foundation squad".

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