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NZ injury scare: Barrett misses training session, given window to recover

By Ian Cameron
Jordie Barrett of the All Blacks looks on during a New Zealand All Blacks training session at LOU rugby club on September 04, 2023 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The All Blacks have attempted to calm fears around a potential injury to fullback cum centre Jordie Barrett, after he missed New Zealand’s Monday training.

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Barrett watched on in Lyon as his teammates trained, leaving Ian Foster and co. to sweat over his availability for the Rugby World Cup opener against France on Friday.

The 26-year-old has been given ‘today and tomorrow’ to prove his fitness.

“He’s just got a niggle. We are just taking precautions,” said New Zealand defence coach Scott McLeod. “It’s a wait and see. It’s still early in the week for us. So, we will just wait and see how he responds today and tomorrow to a little bit more treatment.”

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The All Blacks – who will name their team to play France later this week – have contingency plans should Barrett need to be replaced.

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David Havili and Jordie Barrett react to a missed All Blacks opportunity. Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images

“Always. That is what we do [have contingency plans]. Our whole squad prepares to play, right up until warm-up and the game day,” said McLeod. “He [Barrett] has been really important to our play. However, we trust our full squad and we are going to have to in this World Cup.

“He’s a little bit frustrated with it, as would any athlete. Same as Tyrel Lomax (injured prop). They just have to go through what they have got to do and trust our medical staff, who are world class, and see how the treatment goes.”

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McLeod admits that the pain of losing to France in 2021 still hurts and will fuel their performance against the tournament hosts later this week.

“There’s still a knot in our gut from the last time we were here. That hurt and we have held on to that a little bit. A couple of clips have been shown, which still hurts the boys.

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“Just a couple (of clips), particularly on our kick-chase. We relaxed thinking we would get them and didn’t, they ran out and around us and they got through us. That suits their style of play. They look for the space and run into it well and they feed off each other.

“The players are sick to death of seeing that (a counter-attack during that 40-25 loss led by the now-injured French fly-half Romain Ntamack), particularly a couple that were featured in it a bit. That’s still the hurt, right, for them and you want players to feel that a bit and not let it happen again.

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“Training the last couple of days I think the loss to them (France) last time, our performance against South Africa and the (fact it is) the opening game (of Rugby World Cup 2023) all combine to heighten the sense of this game.

“It is one we thrive in and that we love but some of the players also know the pressure of playing the World Cup at home and we’re sure France will feel that. So, the occasion is going to be massive. We feel the support all around the place for them, so we are really looking forward to kick-off.”

Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
2
Draws
0
Wins
3
Average Points scored
21
33
First try wins
40%
Home team wins
100%

The All Blacks are ready to face the massive physical challenge of the French, who have had their own injury issues to contend with. They’ve lost the services of Paul Willemse, who looks likely to miss the entire competition.

“[They’ve a] Massive pack, who are mobile and have skills. They are very good driving and playing around the lineouts so the work we have done, we hope, has really strengthened us there and we are ready for that.

“Then on the flip side, the way they use the ball, their flair and their skillsets and their ability to see space and pass to it, run to it, kick to it, we respect that a lot.”

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Comments

6 Comments
d
dave 291 days ago

Fortunately we have Havili. His combination with Richie is fantastic. If those two can replicate their performance from Ellis Park last year then we'll be in a good position.

d
dave 291 days ago

Fortunately we have Havili. His combination with Richie is fantastic.

B
B.J. Spratt 291 days ago

Totally agree with Brent and Pecos. I think the Media to some extent have been pretty kind to the All Blacks.

We were "slaughtered". We have the backs. We don't have World class Props or Loose forwards. Ireland and France have the "Pods"
down to an art form.

They seem to play a "Lot smarter" than our forwards, apart from
Sam Whitelock.

Du Pont will be the pivot of their attack. When he runs at 45 deg. the defense has about three options. Du Pont is always in control.

Lots of defenses have tried to shut him down with much faster loosies than we have in the All Blacks.

Then of course he has the beauty of knowing the All Blacks are "concentrating" on him, which allows him a whole different set of "Attacking Options"

Foster will never start Roiguard ahead of SMTH. He would never make that "Bold decision"

I see it as the only chance we have. By the time he plays Roiguard the game will be over.

When you see a half back "shine" as Roiguard did behind a "Beaten Pack/Team" you know he is something "Special"

Then it looks like Ireland in the Quarters. . . Dear Oh Dear Oh Dear

P
Pecos 291 days ago

Havilli is a better 12 anyway, so great cover there. Gone are the days when we obsess over an injured player, It's next man in.

B
BMac 291 days ago

Shame if Jordie is injured as we must then rely on ALB or Havilli. The injuries are already mounting and the only good things going are we need to peak for the 1 game in quarters, I think we will get well beaten by the French with home expectation and they must make a statement to please the fans. Their forward pack have bigger loosies than our locks and they play a faster game over the gain line with 3 man pods running at angles, very difficult to stop. Our backs wont get as much ball and wont make that much of a difference. The team with best discipline and less cards will progress, which means the refs have to be on their game with a global show piece

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