Friday 19

Rugby Union

Naholo suffers injury blow ahead of World Cup

2nd April 2019, 14:13 by Tom McGarry

Waisake Naholo's hopes of representing New Zealand at this year's World Cup are in doubt due to a knee injury.

The 27-year-old winger, who was part of the victorious All Blacks squad at the 2015 World Cup, sustained the injury in training on Monday with his club side Highlanders confirming that he expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks.

A Highlanders statement read: "All Black and Highlanders winger Waisake Naholo sustained a knee injury at training yesterday.

"He has undergone an MRI scan, revealing a grade two MCL injury, he is currently in a knee brace and will be unavailable for up to six weeks while he is rehabilitating."

The severity of the injury means Naholo is unlikely to return to Super Rugby action until the middle of May, which means he will only have four regular season matches to impress All Blacks coach Steve Hansen ahead of both the Rugby Championship and the World Cup.

Naholo is not the only injury doubt for New Zealand heading into those competitions, as Highlanders team-mate Liam Squire is also struggling with the knee injury he picked up last month, while Chiefs loose forward Sam Cane is still on the comeback trail after breaking his neck last year.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read, who has only just returned from an extended break, is also a fitness concern, as he lasted just 40 minutes of his comeback match for the Crusaders at the weekend before being forced off with a leg injury.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.

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