Explosive winger Waisake Naholo’s Rugby World Cup dreams have been shattered by a lower leg injury.
The Highlanders flyer made his All Blacks debut in the 39-18 win over Argentina in Christchurch on Friday night but limped off 11 minutes into the second half.
Coach Steve Hansen said a scan had shown a small crack in the tibia bone.
“He will be out for three months, which means he’s going to miss the World Cup, which is pretty disappointing for him and for us,” he said.
Hansen said there was some shock over the seriousness of the injury, because Naholo was able to put weight on the leg after the match.
But it became sore later in the night and the medical staff took him for a scan.
Naholo’s selection for the All Blacks came after a break-through Super Rugby season in which he scored 13 tries in the Highlanders’ run to the title.
The 24-year-old produced an encouraging display against the Pumas, being safe under the high ball and dangerous with ball in hand, making one slashing break.
“He impressed us and, although he made a couple of small errors, the good things he did were very, very good,” Hansen said.
“He will blossom into a very good All Black.”
The World Cup begins in England in mid-September.