Despite only participating for 30 minutes in the group stages of the 2019 World Cup due to injury, experienced lock Brodie Retallick has been listed in the 33-man All Blacks squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup. This comes even as he is currently nursing a knee injury from a recent match against Australia.
The 32-year-old Retallick was taken off the field after the thrilling 23-20 victory on Saturday and is expected to sit out during the World Cup’s first match against the host team, France, on 8 September.
Meanwhile, injured prop Joe Moody has been conspicuously left out of the team selection.
Retallick anticipates missing two to three games at most, vowing to stick to the recovery plan set for him. All Blacks head coach Ian Foster indicated it could be about six weeks before the 103-cap lock returns to action.
Retallick, heading into his third World Cup, is optimistic about being ready for New Zealand’s second pool game against Namibia on 15 September.
“My knee is a little tender, but I’m adhering to the medical timeline and am hopeful I’ll be able to play in the second pool game,” he stated.
Moody, 34, who was a key player in the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, has been out of action since May due to an ankle injury.
Foster expressed his faith in Moody, praising his contributions to the team and hinting at a possible future opportunity.
Sam Cane, the team’s flanker, has been chosen to lead the All Blacks as they aim for a record-breaking fourth World Cup victory.
New Zealand’s squad comprises the following players:
Forwards: Codie Taylor, Dane Coles, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ethan de Groot, Fletcher Newell, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tuungafasi, Tamaiti Williams, Tyrel Lomax, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Tupou Vaa’i, Ardie Savea, Dalton Papalii, Luke Jacobson, Sam Cane (captain), and Shannon Frizell.
Backs: Aaron Smith, Finlay Christie, Cam Roigard, Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo’unga, David Havili, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Caleb Clarke, Emoni Narawa, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Mark Telea, and Will Jordan.
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