Now Nonu joins Kiwi casualty ward

All Black coach Graham Henry’s backline concerns took another turn for the worse on Monday as powerful midfielder Ma’a Nonu joined the team’s casualty ward in Auckland.

The setback came as the Kiwis stepped up preparations for their first Test of the year, against France at Eden Park, Auckland, on Saturday.

It now appears that Nonu’s return to the All Blacks could be short-lived, after the utility back joined a burgeoning pre-international injury casualty list.

Nonu, who only joined Graham Henry’s squad as cover for hamstrung duo Conrad Smith and Mils Muliaina last week, failed to see out the All Blacks’ first training run of the season after hobbling off with an ankle injury.

The New Zealand Press Association reports that Nonu had only just replaced Isaia Toeava in backline drills after the Auckland centre also departed to have an ice pack applied to his right ankle.

Fortunately the stand-out centre during the Super 14 did return late in the session though Nonu, clearly in more discomfort, was sidelined.

It was not immediately clear if a replacement will be required.

Smith, Muliaina and scrum-half Byron Kelleher (hamstring) all jogged at the first session leading into Saturday’s clash with France, though none are expected to feature in the run-on side.

Experienced lock Ali Williams was also confined to light duties after he sustained a bruised leg during Auckland club rugby last weekend.


365 Digital

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