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All Blacks star ruled out of World Cup with ACL injury.

Huge loss for not just the All Blacks but for the Rugby World to miss out in seeing his talent being showcased.

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All Blacks and Chiefs utility Damian McKenzie has been ruled out of the 2019 Rugby World Cup with a knee injury.

Coach Steve Hansen, spoke to the media at the All Blacks first “foundation day” in Wellington. He confirmed that the 23-year-old ruptured his ACL in his right-knee playing for the Chiefs against the Blues on Saturday night.

“Yeah he’s he’s done an ACL so [it] looks like he could be out for eight to nine months, which is a real shame for him,”

“His World Cup opportunity is gone [but] he’ll still be young enough to make probably the next two.

“It’s just important that he gets his knee right and takes his time to come back and achieve the dreams that he wants to achieve.”

Hansen said it was sad for McKenzie, “but it creates another opportunity for somebody else we’ve got to expect injuries and there will be more than just him when we finally name the team to go to the World Cup

“Our task is finding someone else to fill his role and his task is getting the knee right to be able to play the game.”

Hansen said the All Blacks are not short of options as they still had Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga as first five-eighths options while Ben Smith and Jordie Barrett have the ability to cover fullback.

McKenzie left the pitch on the 41st minute in Hamilton after clashing with Blues Fly-Half, Otere Black.

A scan confirmed the extent of the injury that will see McKenzie out of action for around 6-9 months.

With the World Cup just shy of 5 months away, the door has been opened for another Out-Half to join Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga in the All Blacks squad.

Losing McKenzie is a huge blow for the All Blacks, having earned 23 caps to date he provides Hansen with an option at 10 & 15 and also give him another reliable goal-kicking option.

Hansen did deliver some better news regarding injured All Blacks midfielder Sonny Bill Williams and flanker Sam Cane.

He said Williams “had his knee trimmed up” and Hansen was confident he would come back.

“Many people come back from cartilage injuries so that’s not a concern but if he gets back and plays four or five games, bingo, he’s going to play some good footy we saw the other night he played well.

Cane has resumed light contact training with the Chiefs after breaking in his neck in the All Blacks’ test against South Africa in Pretoria last October.

“He’s back into contact which is wonderful news and he’s just got to take his time there. I’m sure Coops [Chiefs coach Colin Cooper] and his team will bring him back when they think he’s ready.

“What is important is he comes back when he is ready and he is confident. Coming off an injury like that there is a lot of confidence and mind [issues] that you have to come through as well as the injury side.”

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International

Best to Captain Barbarians at Twickenham

The Barbarians have announced their squad for their clash with Fiji on November 16th and Ireland legend Rory Best will captain the invitational side on his final professional appearance

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Barbarians have confirmed their 23-man squad for their match against Fiji on Saturday November 16th at Twickenham, with Rory Best set to captain the side.

The invitational side take on Fiji in the Killik Cup as England head coach takes charge of the team and Irish rugby legend Best will captain the team from hooker in what will be his final professional appearance, having finished his international career with Ireland during the Rugby World Cup

Best is joined by Springbok ace and fellow legend in rugby Tendai Mtawarira in the front-row as the pair are joined by Enrique Pieretto. 

As well as Mtawarira, fellow World Cup winner Makazole Mapimpi starts on the wing, while Boks’ centre Lukhanyo Am is on the bench along with former Springbok Morne Steyn, who joins up in a Barbarians squad with Mtawarira once again, having lined-out together back in 2009 during a 25-19 win over the All Blacks.

Elsewhere, the side contains big names such as Mathieu Bastareaud, who links up with Andre Esterhuizen in the midfield. 

It is the first of three fixtures for the Baa Baas as they follow their game with Fiji, with clashes against Brazil in Sao Paolo and Wales at the Principality Stadium to conclude their November tour for 2019. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.

Starting XV:

15. David Havili

14. Dillyn Leyds

13. Mathieu Bastareaud

12. Andre Esterhuizen

11. Makazole Mapimpi

10. Curwin Bosch

9. Joe Powell

1. Tendai Mtawariria

2. Rory Best ©

3. Enrique Pieretto

4. Luke Jones

5. Tyler Ardron

6. Pete Samu

7. Marco Van Staden 

8. Josh Strauss

Replacements:

Andrew Makalio, Campese Maafu, Hencus Van Wyk, Angus Cottrell, Matt Philip, Jano Vermaak, Lukhanyo Am, Morne Steyn

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6 Nations

Wales Dealt Six Nations Double-Blow

Wales’ Six Nations title defence has been dealt a massive blow already with two stars facing surgery to fix injuries picked up on international duty

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(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Wales will be without both Jonathan Davies and Rhys Patchell for some part of the 2020 Six Nations campaign due to injury it has been confirmed.

Davies, a key member of the Welsh squad for the past number of seasons sustained a knee injury during Wales’ recent Rugby World Cup campaign, and Scarlets have announced that he will undergo surgery on the injury.

The recovery time for the for the centre is set to be six months, meaning he will miss the entire Six Nations tournament in what could be a critical blow as they look to defend their title. While it also means that he could potentially miss the entire club season for Scarlets.

As for Patchell, things aren’t as severe as Davies, but the fly-half is still set to miss the start of the Six Nations with a shoulder injury, which he too will have surgery on.

He is expected to miss between 12-16 weeks due to the injury in what is a cruel blow for a player that has suffered with injury previously, but had shown some brilliant form in recent times.

It is a far from ideal start to life at the helm for new head coach Wayne Pivac as he heads into his first tournament with the team.

As well as these injuries there are also further concerns regarding the likes of stars Liam Williams and Josh Navidi, who are both currently sidelined through injury, with the former looking likely to miss some part of the Six Nations.

Wales are looking to bounce-back during the tournament following a fourth-place finish at the World Cup, with all players hoping to impress Warren Gatland’s successor.

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International

Why Gatland Turned Down the All Blacks

Warren Gatland has confirmed that he was approached by the All Blacks to fill their vacant head coach position, but has explained why he said no

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Former Wales head coach Warren Gatland has confirmed that he turned down the chance to be in the running as the next New Zealand head coach due to his commitment to the Chiefs and the British and Irish Lions.

Gatland, who finished his time with Wales following their Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan earlier this month, has taken the reins at New Zealand Super Rugby side the Chiefs, with a contract that runs until 2023 and allows for a year out to lead the Lions on their 2021 tour of South Africa

Speaking to Radio Sport Breakfast the Kiwi admitted that it was great to be in the running for the All Blacks position, however, he could not accept as he is loyal to the teams that he had already agreed deals with but isn’t turning down the possibility of having the role in the future.

 “I was contacted about that…it was nice to be contacted I politely declined putting my name forward. I’m a little bit old school…I’d made the commitment to the Chiefs and I’d made the commitment to the Lions, it was important that I carry on with that…honour the commitment I made to those two sides. Maybe sometime in the future I may get that opportunity again,” he said. 

New Zealand Rugby have confirmed that a total of 26 coaches have been given the opportunity to apply for the position, but Gatland is focused on his new job with the Chiefs and believes that if he is meant to have a role with the All Blacks that it will happen later in his career. 

“I’m not one of those people who plan ahead too much…I’m a great believer in what will be will be. For me having been away a long time there are a lot of different challenges and the challenges are to kind re-integrate myself back into New Zealand rugby. If you are successful other opportunities will come along. It was time for me to make a decision to leave Wales and the northern hemisphere and come back to New Zealand and I’m excited by that,” he added. 

Gatland, who had 12 successful years with Wales until his return to New Zealand is preparing for the 2020 Super Rugby season with his new franchise, who have confirmed the signings of promising backs Kini Naholo and Quinn Tupaea ahead of the campaign. 

As well as those youngsters there is a return to New Zealand rugby for fly-half Aaron Cruden, who signed a one-year contract ahead of a move to Japan and both he and Gatland will hope to make big impacts upon their returns to their home nation. 

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