McKenzie to miss out on World Cup

Damian Mc Kenzie is forced off the field in the Chiefs' match against the Blues in Hamilton on Saturday night

SPORTDamian Mc Kenzie is forced off the field in the Chiefs' match against the Blues in Hamilton on Saturday night

The New Zealand All Blacks have been dealt a huge blow with the news that Damian McKenzie has ruptured his ACL and is ruled out of the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Coach Steve Hansen announced today that McKenzie injured a major ligament in his right knee on Saturday night, and as a result, is likely to be out of contention for rugby's pinnacle event in September.

'He's done an ACL and looks to be out for eight to nine months which is a real shame for him, ' said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

McKenzie limped off the Waikato Stadium pitch after attempting to make a tackle early in the second half of the Chiefs' 33-29 victory.

"It's sad for him but obviously creates a dream for somebody else".

"We know he can play test rugby, he just has to show that he's got the ability to do that on a weekly basis at Super Rugby level and then we have to make hard decisions".

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.

He walked from the field with the help of a Chiefs medic but appeared in pain, and went on to have an MRI scan to determine the extent of the injury.

Hansen said the selectors had chose to invite only players involved in the All Blacks' 2018 campaign.

The All Blacks could also consider playing Beauden Barrett at fullback and using the Crusaders' Richie Mo'unga at flyhalf.

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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