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All Black struck down by injury before Rugby World Cup squad announcement

By Finn Morton
Ethan Blackadder of the All Blacks (C) looks on during the International Test Match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Fiji at Forsyth Barr Stadium on July 10, 2021 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Fan-favourite flanker Ethan Blackadder has been struck down by another cruel injury blow in the leadup to the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup squad annoucement on Monday.

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Blackadder was a standout during his maiden Test campaign in black a couple of years ago, but the backrower has struggled with injuries ever since.

After being named the Crusaders’ Player of the Year in 2022, the dynamic loose forward missed the entire international season with an injury.

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Blackadder also spent a decent stint on the sidelines during Super Rugby Pacific this year.

The 28-year-old hobbled off during the regular season win over the Brumbies, and wouldn’t return for quite some time.

Blackadder was back in red and black in time for the Crusaders’ finals charge, but suffered a quad injury during the quarter-final against the Fijian Drua – after just four minutes of game time too.

But, unfortunately, Blackadder isn’t out of the woods just yet. Injuries have continued to disrupt his season – with All Blacks coach Ian Foster providing an update earlier this week.

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“He re-did a calf a couple of weeks ago,” Foster told reporters on Thursday. “We’re just assessing him at the moment.”

The All Blacks are preparing to take on arch-rivals Australia in Dunedin on Saturday afternoon. It’s their second and final Test of the year on home soil.

For New Zealanders, it’s their last chance to see their heroes in action before they jet off to Europe ahead of the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

But once the full-time siren sounds at Forsyth Barr Stadium, the attention of the New Zealand rugby public will quickly shift to Monday’s team announcement.

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For 33 of New Zealand’s best male rugby players, their dreams of going to a Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks will become a reality early next week.

But for the likes of Blackadder and Crusaders teammate David Havili – who is set to lineup for Tasman Mako in the opening round of the NPC on Friday – they appear to be under a cloud of doubt.

“It’s all going to depend on what we do, whether they’re picked or not,” Foster added. “I’ll let you know on Monday.”

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Comments

6 Comments
S
Shane 343 days ago

Dmac should not be in the world cup squad he was terrible and all this hype about him for the last year about how good he is etc well yesterday proved he is not suited for international level fullstop

T
Tristan 343 days ago

I think Blackadder will be a good AB in the future but he has to build his body up first. He's too slight in build now. He has a great mental attitude and gives 100% on the park, he needs proper time to mend and then train up.

T
Troy 345 days ago

We can't repeat the mistakes of the past and take injured players who have no form to the cup. We know that doesn't work. It's just as well 6 and 12 are settled now so unfortunately for Blackadder and Havili that should count them out. Fingers crossed.

B
Bruiser 345 days ago

He was never a standout in any games he has played for Abs

I
Isikeli 345 days ago

23 is locked in so the remaining 10 is playing this weekend. Great thing Fozzy is not interested in blooding new AB players for the next WC. Go win this and the world is your oyster 🤣

D
Damian 345 days ago

Bugger! Ethan and David were surely lock-ins but I guess life goes on and neither would want to be there unless they could provide a hundy. Hope Luke Jacobson gets a good run this weekend. We have ball carriers but need a fetcher, a bit of mongrel, fast, accurate and always there causing chaos, hurting heros, forcing errors and turning the ball over.

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