McKenzie set to miss World Cup with ACL injury

Damian Mc Kenzie suffered the injury early in the second half against the Blues

Damian Mc Kenzie suffered the injury early in the second half against the Blues

Key All Blacks attacking weapon Damian McKenzie has been ruled out of rugby for the year with a knee injury, meaning new tactics may be required in their Rugby World Cup defence.

"It's a real shame for him, his World Cup opportunity has gone but he's still young enough to probably make the next two (World Cups)".

"It's sad for him but obviously creates a dream for somebody else".

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The Chiefs full-back was forced off the pitch early in the second half at the Waikato Stadium, after attempting to tackle Otere Black, and a scan later revealed the full extent of the knee injury. "We know there will be (more) injuries in the next two or three months so our whole planning now is based on what happens when this happens", All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster told Radio Sport.

Williams' absence from Wellington after he had keyhole surgery on his right knee last Friday wasn't a big concern, said Hansen, who added there was still plenty of time for the big midfielder to return for the Blues before the All Blacks' first test of the year against Argentina in Buenos Aires on July 21. McKenzie left the field with the help of a Chiefs medic but seemed in serious distress.

McKenzie is originally from Invercargill and went to school in Christchurch.

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Now, it looks as if the All Blacks selectors will have to change their plans.

Hansen believed he has the personnel to cover McKenzie's loss, singling out five-eighths Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo'unga and outside backs Ben Smith and Jordie Barrett as players blessed with versatile skills.

The Rugby World will be held from September 20 to November 2.

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