Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Injury shatters Narawa’s World Cup dream

A back injury has shattered Fiji-born Emoni Narawa’s 2023 Rugby World Cup dream just two days away from New Zealand’s opening match against host nation France.

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster confirmed that Narawa has been withdrawn from the squad after suffering a back injury.

“During the training week in Lyon, winger Emoni Narawa re-injured his back at the end of a field session,” the statement said.

“Scans revealed a disc issue which has ruled him out for the rest of the tournament.”

“He is set to leave the squad following the opening game in Paris and a decision on his replacement will be made in due course.”

The All Blacks will also be without star centre Jordie Barrett for the opening match as he is racing the clock to be fit after suffering a knee injury in the build-up.

Anton Lienert-Brown has been named to play alongside Rieko Ioane in the centres, with Barrett joining the likes of Brodie Retallick and Shannon Frizell on the sidelines.

Richie Mo’unga will start at flyhalf in his 50th Test cap, with Aaron Smith set to partner him in the halves.

Sam Cane leads the side in a back-row that includes Dalton Papali’i and Ardie Savea as they prepare to face France for the World Cup-record eighth time.

New Zealand will take on France at 7.15am.

New Zealand: Beauden Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown, Mark Telea, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (c), Dalton Papali’i, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Nepo Laulaua.

Replacements: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Fletcher Newell, Tupou Vaa’i, Luke Jacobson, Finlay Christie, David Havili, Leicester Fainga’anuku.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com
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