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Naholo Under Injury Cloud

Naholo Under Injury Cloud
Waisake Naholo and Sonny Bill Williams.
October 07
10:37 2015

London: Just when the All Blacks thought their Fijian flier was back, another setback has struck.

Naholo took a knock to his right leg, the same one he fractured against Argentina in July, in the first-half of the All Blacks scrappy 43-10 win over Georgia and limped from the field with what he described post-match as cramp after a mixed 53-minute return.

Those fascinated with his comeback, 11 weeks after his test debut, will immediately speculate, but the latest hiccup appears to be exactly that, minor.

Naholo was on light duties as the All Blacks trained in drizzly conditions at Mowden Park in Darlington yesterday, but assistant coach Ian Foster was hopeful the Highlanders finisher would recover from his leg bruising and be available for the All Blacks final pool match against Tonga.

“I don’t think so,” Foster said when asked if the injury would preclude him this week. “We were pretty precautionary. We’ll assess him Wednesday morning and make our decision then.

“Waisake was limited in his running. He was running a little bit gingerly today, but we expect it to come right quick.”

Whatever the case, Naholo’s limited participation in training clouds the picture in the hotly-contested battle for wing spots. The All Blacks didn’t leave Charles Piutau out of their World Cup squad and bring Naholo halfway around the world for one pool game. They are, therefore, understandably keen to give him another chance to lift his game before the quarterfinals.

“We would like to see Waisake with a bit more game time. It’s pretty hard to assess his last game.

“He started off with a hiss and a roar and did something pretty spectacular which we know he can do. Then he looked a little bit rusty around the park in some of his roles. That comes when you’re out for so long and just come back.

“In an ideal world we’d give him a bit more time and then make that decision.”

Naholo wasn’t the only player on ice at training. Sonny Bill Williams (head and flu) and Charlie Faumuina (hamstring) were confined to the sideline.

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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