All Black Nonu played Springboks with broken arm

New Zealand’s second five-eighth Ma’a Nonu has been ruled out for the rest of the year after he broke his arm in All Blacks 14-10 Rugby Championship victory over South Africa’s Springboks.

The 93-Test midfielder broke his arm in the 31st minute of the Test match in Wellington but played on until half time when he was replaced.

Nonu suffered the injury whilst making a tackle against South African captain Jean de Villiers.

The All Black’s team mates almost immediately knew that something was wrong with him as Conrad Smith and Ben Smith said that they noted the discomfort on Nonu”s face.

“I could tell by his face,” Ben stated, with the Highlanders back moving into 12 in the second half.

“He’s usually pretty durable Ma’a, he doesn’t like to come off, so when he does have a problem, you know it’s pretty serious.”

Nonu and Smith have played together in 55 Tests which equals the record set by Ireland’s Brian O”Driscoll and Gordon D”Arcy but Smith said that intially he told centre partner to suck it up.

“Ma’a told me straight away it was broken,” the All Blacks centre said.

“I was probably aware of our shortage on the bench and said ‘you’ll be right”.

“But it was pretty obvious from then on. You can tell with someone you’ve played with a lot that they’re not quite right.”

Incredibly even though Nonu thought he might have broken his arm he played on for the remaining nine minutes of the first half and even made further tackles.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said Nonu had undergone a corrective surgery in Wellington on Sunday morning.

“Ma’a has just come out of having an operation on his arm,” Hansen told AP. “It’s broken.”

“He’s got a plate in it. That will be his season and he will be back for the Hurricanes (in Super Rugby next year).”

The loss of thirty-two-year-old centre Nonu is a blow for the Rugby World Cup champions but they do have depth in the position.

Ryan Crotty is currently injured with a broken cheekbone but could return to face Argentina in two weeks while Highlanders centre Malakai Fekitoa could be recalled.

All Black coach Hansen said that although Smith filled in at 12 for Nonu in the second half he would not be considered in the position for the remaining Rugby Championship matches.

The New Zealand Rugby Union have already signed Sonny Bill Williams for next season but he has been given special dispensation to play on the All Blacks end of year tour which includes a Test in Chicago.

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