'TJ is Out' - All Blacks scrum half Perenara ruled out of England Test at Eden Park with knee injury - Ruck

‘TJ is Out’ – All Blacks scrum half Perenara ruled out of England Test at Eden Park with knee injury

The All Blacks will be without their first choice scrum-half for the second test against England, as TJ Perenara has been ruled out of the fixture at Eden Park. Confirmed this morning by New Zealand assistant coach Jason Holland, Perenara will sit out the match after picking up a problematic knee injury.

Perenara sustained the injury at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, mid-way through the first half against England. The halfback was down on the deck and grasping his knee, after falling collateral to a coming together between George Martin and Scott Barrett. The Leicester Tigers man shoved the All Blacks captain, with the back-peddling Barrett colliding with Perenara, and leaving the scrum-half in some discomfort.

“Yeah it looked pretty nasty when it happened, but he’s better than expected.” Holland said. “We are waiting on a specialist to determine exact return to play dates but it’s way better than expected. Hopefully it is not too long but we haven’t got an exact date yet. It is not this weekend at this stage.”

“We’re not sure [what he’s done]. It’s around his knee. The specialist report will let us know in the next day or so.”

This injury comes at an unfortunate time for the 32-year-old, as Perenara ran out for his first All Blacks cap since the Autumn of 2022. In a match that coincidentally also came against England, Perenara’s last experience of the black jersey was the 25-25 draw against Eddie Jones’ former side. Perenara has since been out of the fold due to a season’s sabbatical in Japan, and missed out on the Rugby World Cup trip to France.

With Aaron Smith retiring from the All Blacks after taking home a silver medal from Paris, the stage looked set for Perenara to claim the nine jersey upon his return home to the Hurricanes. With Perenara out of the fold, Finlay Christie is expected to take the lead in the nine jersey, with Chiefs breakthrough Cortez Raitama expected to get the call-up on the bench.