Kieran Read will miss all of New Zealand’s World Cup pool games because of a torn ligament in his left ankle, the All Blacks been confirmed.
Read limped off during his side’s 25-20 Tri Nations defeat against Australia on Saturday that handed the Wallabies their first Tri Nations crown in ten years.
The number eight will now miss the All Blacks Group A games against Tonga, Japan, France and Canada, but should be in line to wear the New Zealand Rugby Shirt in the knockout stages, which get underway in October.
“Kieran has torn the ligament between the tibia and fibula at the front of his left ankle,” team doctor Deb Robinson confirmed.
“While it’s still early days in his recovery, with aggressive rehabilitation we are aiming to have him available to play near the end of the round-robin.” She added.
There was further bad news for head coach Graham Henry with the World Cup less than two weeks away as loose forward Adam Thomson was also confirmed as a major injury worry ahead of the tournament.
Thompson picked up an elbow injury against the Wallabies, and while he should be fit to play during the pool stages, he is unlikely to feature in the tournament opener against Tonga on 9th September.
“Adam’s MRI scan shows some swelling around the inside of his elbow which should settle quickly.” Robinson added.
“He also has some deep bruising to his upper arm, but we are hoping he will be ready for the second match against Japan.”
The All Blacks will be seeking their first World Cup title since the inaugural tournament in 1987, but are entering the tournament on the back of two straight defeats against South Africa and Australia that saw them denied a 6th Tri Nations crown in seven years.