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Perenara ruled out, Hotham into ABs squad

TJ Perenara All Blacks rugby
TJ Perenara's return to play timeframe from a knee injury is still unknown. PHOTO: ALL BLACKS

Halfback TJ Perenara has been ruled out for the All Blacks' second test against England at Eden Park.

Crusaders No 9 Noah Hotham has been called into the All Blacks squad as depth cover, with the Blues' Finlay Christie likely to start on Saturday and the Chiefs' Cortez Ratima inline for his debut off the bench.


The All Blacks announced on Monday that Perenara's recovery timeframe from a left knee injury suffered during the All Blacks' 16-15 first test victory in Dunedin was unknown, but he was due to see a specialist in Auckland this week.

The 80-test veteran made a comeback to international play at Forsyth Barr Stadium last Saturday, after two Achilles surgeries and two years out of the All Blacks setup.

Perenara, who led the haka, played most of the first half before clutching his left knee and screaming in pain after players collided with his lower body at a ruck. He got to his feet and played out the first half, before being replaced by Christie.

The 32-year-old was spotted walking freely at the All Blacks hotel the following morning, with All Blacks head coach Scott Robertson expressing optimism that the injury may not be as serious as originally feared.


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