"Doesn't Look Too Serious" - All Blacks Captain Sam Cane's Injury Confirmed - Ruck

“Doesn’t Look Too Serious” – All Blacks Captain Sam Cane’s Injury Confirmed

New Zealand Head Coach Ian Foster has confirmed the extent of Sam Cane’s injury, after the All Blacks captain was withdrawn from the squad just a day before their opening Rugby World Cup match against France.

New Zealand suffered their first ever defeat in the Rugby World Cup pool stages last night, with Les Bleus recording an impressive 27-13 win to kick-start the tournament in Paris. Foster confirmed that Cane suffered a back injury in the All Blacks’ captain’s run, the day before their opening match.

“He put his back out in yesterday’s captain run, just lifting someone from kick-off, so we looked at him this morning and he wasn’t quite right so that’s why we made the change.”

“He did it yesterday late afternoon in the captain’s run. He was doing a bit of lifting of a jumper at a lineout. He brought them down and felt his back get strained. It was pretty stiff last night and we had a look at him this morning and decided to pull him. It has freed up and he is moving better than he was yesterday but we didn’t have clear information about how bad his back was.

“We will have a look at that tomorrow. He says he’s had it before but we will check it out properly. His back went into spasm around a disc, but it doesn’t look too serious at this stage.”

Foster was also asked in the post match press conferece, on his thoughts for the reshuffled All Blacks back row. Tupou Vaa’i was brought in as a late starter, swapping in on the blindside flank, with Dalton Papali’i pushed across to the openside.

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? The injuries over the last 10 days have put us under a bit of pressure. I thought Tupou [Vaa’i] played well for large periods and then ran out steam a bit. We probably brought ‘Guzz’ [Brodie Retallick] back a week earlier than we wanted, but we have got him back up to speed now. We will be bringing someone in and don’t be surprised if it is a loose forward.”

The All Blacks play their second Pool A match against Namibia, on Friday September 15th, before then taking on Italy (September 29th) and Uruguay (October 5th). Despite the set-back in this opening defeat to France, New Zealand are still more than viable candidates to progress out of the pool stages, however, due to the lop-sided draw they will be expecting to face either Ireland, South Africa or Scotland in the knock-out stages.