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All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is hopeful lock Brodie Retallick will be fit for the Rugby World Cup despite dislocating his shoulder against South Africa on Saturday.
Retallick was cleared out in a ruck by the Springboks’ RG Snyman and landed awkwardly on his left shoulder. He was in visible pain as he walked off in the 61st minute of the 16-16 draw at Wellington Regional Stadium.
Hansen did not give a timeline for his return but sounded optimistic the former World Player of the Year would be fit to travel to Japan for the September 20-to-November 2 showpiece.
“Hopefully he will be available for the World Cup. He is one of our best players so that’s good,” the coach said.
The absence of Retallick would be a massive blow to Hansen’s plans for the World Cup, with Scott Barrett still on the sidelines with a broken thumb, although the coach added the 25-year-old would have a scan today.
Hansen’s depth in the second row falls away after Barrett, with Patrick Tuipulotu having struggled to assert himself at international level in the past two years.
Jackson Hemopo has impressed in his four test appearances since he made his debut last year and could partner Sam Whitelock against Australia in their final Rugby Champio
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