TOKYO (Reuters) – All Blacks loose forward Matt Todd will likely miss the Rugby World Cup semi-final against England next Saturday in Yokohama after suffering a stinging blow to a shoulder he dislocated before the tournament in their quarter-final on Saturday.
Todd was sinbinned in the final few minutes by referee Nigel Owens for a professional foul shortly after he reeled away from a tackle clutching his left shoulder in the match against Ireland.
The 31-year-old missed the All Blacks’ opening pool game against South Africa on Sept. 21 with a shoulder injury, although the All Blacks did not confirm it was a dislocation.
“He’s hurt his shoulder again,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told reporters on Sunday, the day after his side’s 46-14 victory at Tokyo Stadium.
“It’s unlikely he’ll be available (for the England game) but everyone else is 100 per cent. He dislocated it a wee while ago and got a bang on it yesterday.
“So we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Hansen also confirmed that Todd’s fellow loose forward Sam Cane would be available and that his substitution at halftime on Saturday had been tactical, rather than related to any injury.
“We wanted to bring Scotty Barrett on, it was a tactical decision,” Hansen said.
“When you’ve got the bench we’ve got, the thought behind it is that we can add something different to the game and change the picture a bit.
“We’re happy with the way it went too.”
Hansen was mostly happy with his side’s performance against Ireland but acknowledged they needed to go up a level against Eddie Jones’s side, who were impressive in shutting down the Wallabies and seizing on their own scoring opportunities.
“They’re a very good rugby side,” Hansen said.
“You don’t win 18 test matches in a row without being a good team and the team that did that is basically the team he’s got here. He’s tinkered around with them and they’re playing good footy so they’ll be confident, as we will be.
“They’ve come to this tournament after being hurt at the last one and through that adversity, I think they’re stronger because of it.
“They’re desperate and they’re well coached. It’s going to be a mighty clash and we’re looking forward to it.”
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; editing by Richard Pullin)