All Blacks star Nehe-Milner Skudder has suffered a dislocated shoulder and is set to be out of action until next year, reported by The New Zealand Herald.
The 26-year-old flyer, who has scored an incredible eleven tries in only eleven tests since his debut in 2015, sustained the injury during his side’s thrilling 25-24 victory over the Springboks in Cape Town yesterday.
Milner-Skudder, who only returned to international action last month, after dislocating his other shoulder in March of last year, will probably be sidelined until next year, in a big blow to the Hurricanes winger.
The 2015 World Cup winner has been in fine form since returning to the international arena in the All Blacks’ 39-22 win over Argentina, which saw him make a try-scoring return.
He then went on to score two tries against South Africa in his side’s 57-0 demolition of the Springboks in Albany.
And although he failed to cross the whitewash yesterday, an outrageous behind the back flick after a tremendous run, showed how talented the Taihape-born star is.
Blessed with electric pace, great hands and an amazing side-step, Milner-Skudder is a class act and his absence will be an undoubted blow to Steve Hansen and co.
The luckless back’s latest injury setback came in the 47th minute of an unusually long first-half, after South Africa winger Courtnall Skosan dived on top of him as he was going down in an attempt to re-gather the ball. Milner-Skudder failed to appear for the second-half with Crusaders star David Havili taking his place.
With the third Bledisloe Cup clash taking place in a couple of weeks in Brisbane, Highlanders winger Waisake Naholo is expected to start in Milner-Skudder’s place.
But as New Zealand seek to do the treble over the Wallabies this season as well as gearing up for their end of year European tour, they will have to bring in cover out wide. With the highly-experienced Israel Dagg out for the season with a knee injury and the versatile Ben Smith taking a well-earned sabbatical, the out of favour Julian Savea could be drafted back in.
The powerful Hurricanes winger who has scored an amazing 46 tries in 54 tests was left out of Hansen’s Rugby Championship squad on the basis of his form and will be hoping for a reprieve.
Uncapped Blues back Matt Duffie who switched from Rugby League last year is also another contender.
Not only All Blacks fans but fans all over the World will be wishing Milner-Skudder, one of the world’s most naturally-gifted talents, a speedy recovery.