Due to a serious knee injury sustained playing Super Rugby Pacific, All Blacks winger Sevu Reece will miss the Rugby World Cup in France later this year.
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A two-week ago, the Fijian-born back suffered an injury while playing for the Canterbury Crusaders against the Auckland Blues. He has played 23 tests for New Zealand and scored 15 tries.
“Sevu injured his knee and has had scans which have confirmed an ACL rupture and now he will undergo surgery to repair this,” the Crusaders said in an injury update on Wednesday.
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“Unfortunately, this rules Sevu out of rugby for the rest of 2023.”
In New Zealand, quality outside backs are rarely in short supply, which is fortunate for All Blacks coach Ian Foster.
Robertson, who will take over from Foster after the World Cup, is confident Reece will be able to return to his best.
“It’s a hard one, for him and the whole club because he is so important to us,” he told reporters in Christchurch.
“Really feel for him. He’s been incredible for us. A lot of hard work will get him back to where he was beforehand, a world-class wing.”
After tearing a calf muscle against the ACT Brumbies last Friday, All Blacks loose forward Ethan Blackadder was added to Robertson’s injury list at the Crusaders this week.
The New Zealand lock Sam Whitelock will return from a broken hand in mid-April after being out for six weeks.
In round six of Super Rugby Pacific, the Crusaders take on the Queensland Reds in Brisbane.