He sustained a hairline fracture to his fibula on debut for New Zealand on July 17 against Argentina in the Rugby Championship.
Hansen shouldn’t worry. It’s unlikely there’ll be any surprises for the defending champions at the Rugby World Cup on Friday. But he returned to country of his birth, Fiji, and after using the traditional healing methods of his uncle, did enough to prove to the selectors he would be right to play midway through the pool phase. “There’s been a few people saying, ‘where’s he gone?'”, Hansen said, joking, “I think a couple of boys took a torch back to training to find out where he went because they still don’t know where he’s gone”.
Naholo says he is excited and nervous at the same time for his World Cup debut. After the disappointment of thinking that maybe we weren?t going to be able to select him, to get a second chance is wonderful.?
And such was the esteem the All Blacks coaching staff had for Naholo that the Highlanders winger was selected in their World Cup squad at the end of August, even though his fitness was still in question. “Watching him train this week is pleasurable”. As long as his leg was right, he was going to be here.
How was his shot?
Seeking a third straight win in Pool C, the All Blacks selected on Wednesday a full-strength team that included recalls for Richie McCaw as captain and flyhalf Dan Carter.
There’ll be no 100th Test for All Blacks midfielder Ma’a Nonu against Georgia at the Rugby World Cup.
“Pulled a shoulder back and strained the muscles there, in consultation with the medical crew on Monday I decided it’s not worth risking him or the other three injured players”.
But four players weren’t considered because of injury: Ma’a Nonu (shoulder), Colin Slade (hamstring), Liam Messam (calf) and Beauden Barrett (whiplash).
Nonu is replaced by Sonny Bill Williams and the Millennium Stadium could well witness a drubbing, with Georgia’s coach, another New Zealander in Milton Haig, making seven changes in the pack of the side who beat Tonga and lost against Argentina.
Haig has rested several top players for the match, choosing instead to focus on next week’s game against Namibia, where a win would secure them automatic entry into the 2019 tournament. However, captain Mamuka Gorgodze starts, although at openside instead of his usual No. 8.