New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has confirmed that Brodie Retallick should be fit for the Rugby World Cup despite having dislocated his shoulder in the All-Blacks draw with South Africa on Saturday last, whilst also providing updates on both Scott Barrett and Sonny Bill Williams.
The former World Player of the Year was in clear discomfort having been taken out by RG Snyman, landing heavily on his shoulder and being replaced instantly. However, despite concerns from fans, there seemed to be optimism that the lock will have fully recovered by the time the showpiece kickstarts in Japan on September 20th.
With Barrett currently out of action due to a broken thumb with a scheduled scan this week, the All Blacks will look for a speedy recovery from Retallick as they bid for a third consecutive Webb Ellis crown. In the Sports world in general, injuries affect not only the player, but also the team, the fans and even economy. When a player is injured, fans and rival team’s fans and even players, sometimes make a bet against the team and it has been known that the best betting sites get more bettors and eventually pay more taxes and benefit the economy of their countries. When considering all of that, we can see the bigger picture of every minor injury like that one. But despite no timeline being given, Hansen seemed to ease the minds of New Zealanders with his update to TVNZ:
“We have a reasonably positive update. He’s only dislocated it which means that there’s a good possibility he could make the World Cup. There’s no timeline yet about when he’s going to play, but he’s one of our best players so I’m obviously relieved.”
Concerns have also grown over the consistency of Williams fitness following a spate of recent injuries.
The 33-year-old is set to miss out on their clash with Australia on August 10th, lining out for Counties Manukau as an alternative, before being brought back into the fold having gathered game-time for the penultimate Rugby Championship meeting.
The move could be seen as tactical by Hansen, perhaps protecting the player and minimising risk of injury before the tournament, but it will be music to the ears of the supporters, with fears having grown the fan-favourite would miss the plane to Japan:
“He’s going to play a couple of games over the next few weeks [..] as many games as we can get in between there and Auckland.”
New Zealand kick-start their Rugby World Cup matches campaign facing the Springboks on September 21st, before clashes with Canada, Namibia and Italy and a potential meeting with Ireland in the pipeline.
With a fit Retallick, Barrett and Williams, the All-Blacks will be even more of a force to be reckoned with.