The dislocated shoulder suffered by Brodie Retallick in the All Blacks’ dramatic 16-16 draw with South Africa in the Rugby Championship at the weekend may not be as bad as originally feared, according to head coach Steve Hansen.
The sight of Retallick leaving the pitch with his arm supported by a makeshift sling left All Blacks supporters worried that the towering lock could miss the 2019 Rugby World Cup which begins in September.
However, it is understood that the dislocation consisted of no structural damage and Hansen admitted that he received a “positive update” from the medical staff.
“We have a reasonably positive update,” Hansen told Stuff.
“He’s only dislocated it, which means that there’s a good possibility he could make the World Cup. There’s no timeline yet about when he’s going to return to play, hopefully, he’ll be available to go to the World Cup.
“He’s one of our best players, so I’m obviously relieved, it’s good.”
Hansen’s current 39-man squad will be cut to 34 on Wednesday and Retallick’s injury may impact the number of locks and back-row players he brings to Japan. Hansen may opt to bring someone like Vaea Fifita who can play in both positions.
New Zealand now have a two-week break until they take on the Wallabies in Perth on August 10 in what will be the final round of this year’s shortened Rugby Championship.