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OPINION:Brodie Retallick’s dislocated shoulder could terminate a fellow All Black’s Rugby World Cup aspirations when the 31-man squad is revealed next week.
Lock Retallick, who damaged his big wing during the 16-all draw with the Springboks on July 27, is no certainty to be picked for the tournament in Japan but the news delivered by coach Steve Hansen at the time of his injury gave cause to feel optimistic.
Hansen’s declaration was based on the fact that a scan didn’t reveal any structural damage to Retallick’s shoulder, which gave way when Springboks replacement RG Snyman smacked into him from an offside position at a ruck.
All will be revealed when the squad is unveiled inside the changing sheds at Eden Park, Auckland on August 28.
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Given the All Blacks selectors opted to pick only three locks for the 2015 tournament in Britain, which allowed them the luxury of naming six back rowers, they will have pondered whether to follow a similar template ahead of the defence of the Webb Ellis Cup.
That was before Retallick got injured. At the same time Snyman’s illegal charge caused Retallick to slump to the ground in agony, the selectors’ plans were thrown in disarray.
Retallick is one of the greats. It just wouldn’t do to not have him in Japan, so it’s probable he will be picked on the proviso he keeps rehabbing under the guidance of the All Blacks’ medical staff.
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