Ma’a Nonu’s broken forearm has ended his season ,but Dan Carter coming back for the All Blacks

Ma’a Nonu’s broken forearm has ended his season.

The All Blacks second five-eighth had an operation in Wellington on Sunday morning to have a plate inserted after suffering the injury in last night’s 14-10 win over the Springboks.

The blow came when Nonu made a tackle on opposite Jean de Villiers in the 31st minute. The 93-test veteran played through the pain for 10 minutes following that incident but after being assessed by the team doctor did not return after halftime.

“Ma’a has just come out of having an operation on his arm. It’s broken,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen confirmed on Sunday. “He’s got a plate in it. That will be his season and he will be back for the Hurricanes [next year].”

Losing Nonu is a major blow for the All Blacks. The 32-year-old is a consistent rock and, alongside Conrad Smith in their 55th test together, last night equalled the world record midfield pairing.

“I’m gutted for him,” Smith said of Nonu.

“He said to me immediately after it happened he thought he’d broken his forearm. I was probably aware of our shortage on the bench and said ‘you’ll be right’.

“It was pretty obvious from then on. I thought it was longer than 10 minutes. You can tell when you’ve played with someone quite a lot when they’re not quite right. I wasn’t surprised at halftime when the doctor had a look at it and took him off.”

Ryan Crotty is due to return from his facial fracture and is expected to start in the No. 12 jersey for the second time in Argentina in two weeks.

Malakai Fekitoa will also provide cover from the bench, but Nonu’s absence also paves the way for Sonny Bill Williams to play a more prominent role in his return to the XV-man code on the end of year tour.

“Yeah, it probably does,” Hansen said of Williams. “It’s disappointing for him [Nonu] and for us, but it creates another opportunity for someone like Ryan Crotty once he is all cleared to play and for Malakai.”

Hansen also revealed Daniel Carter will make his comeback from a fractured leg for Canterbury. The All Blacks playmaker will be managed but is expected to turn out for the red-and-blacks against North Harbour in Albany on September 23, with a view to targeting an international return in the third Bledisloe Cup in Brisbane on October 18.

“Dan is going to come back in the NPC,” Hansen said. “He’ll have a graduated programme. Whether he comes in or plays 40 or 60 [minutes] and will play 60 or 80 the following week…that will be with the idea of being available for the Brisbane test.”

Continuing on the injury front, Jerome Kaino (elbow), Liam Messam (thigh) and Sam Whitelock (rib) will all travel to Argentina. That creates welcome headaches at blindside in particular with Kaino, Messam and Steven Luatua all vying for the role.

“They have recovered very well,” Hansen said of the injured trio. “There’s been some great work done by the medical staff. Having this bye week has come at a nice time for us.

“It tells us we’ve got real depth. It seems to be working reasonably seamlessly. People go in, people come out. That’s a reflection on the culture of the group that the leaders are driving.”

The All Blacks will take a 30-man touring party for their away leg of the Rugby Championship to Argentina and South Africa.

Bay of Plenty’s Nathan Harris will be one of three hookers initially included, with Dane Coles scheduled to fly home after the Pumas test and miss the finale in Johannesburg for the birth of his child.

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About Martin Myers
Music Supervisor / Artist and Talent Manager / Publicist / Music Exchange Founder / Owner Triple M Entertainment

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