Rugby Championship

Nonu, Pienaar out with injury

2014-09-13 15:31
Ruan Pienaar (Gallo Images)

Wellington - New Zealand inside centre Ma'a Nonu and Springboks scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar could miss the rest of the Rugby Championship after both sustained bad injuries in the All Blacks' bruising 14-10 victory at Wellington Regional Stadium on Saturday.

As it happened: All Blacks v Springboks

VIDEO: Cornal Hendricks' fabulous try!

Nonu appeared to have broken his forearm, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told reporters, while Pienaar had damaged his knee and could be out for between six and eight weeks, his Springboks counterpart Heyneke Meyer added.

The extent of both injuries would need to be determined after further medical checks, with Nonu being taken to hospital during the game while Pienaar's injury would be assessed in South Africa.

Pienaar was carried off in the 36th minute while Nonu did not appear again in the second half, forcing Hansen to shift Ben Smith into inside centre for the second 40 minutes.

Smith has principally played on the wing or at fullback for the All Blacks, but did play at centre on the All Blacks' end of year tour to Europe last November.

With Cory Jane covering the outside backs from the bench, Smith's selection to cover the midfield, should Nonu or Conrad Smith get injured, had been debated during the week, though both Hansen and assistant coach Ian Foster had no concerns.

"He did that job magnificently," Foster said. "We had a conversation on Tuesday and basically told him not to worry because Ma'a never gets injured.

"That didn't work. He trained there and just trusted his instincts. His footwork was great.

"He has been hugely valuable for us."

Foster described Smith as the most versatile player he had seen throughout his playing and coaching career, but both he and Hansen said there would be no thought to him starting a test at inside centre.

"No," Hansen said, then paused. "No, I should really say no.

"Not unless we had a while lot of circumstances that dictated that we had to, like Ryan (Crotty) not being available, Malakai (Fekitoa) not been available. Ian not being available, me not being available, and Richie (McCaw) not being available.

"So no is the answer, which I have to reaffirm because Fozzie (Foster) has just kicked me under the table."

Hansen added that Crotty had recovered from a broken cheek and should be available for selection for their final two Rugby Championship clashes against Argentina on September 27 and South Africa on October 4.

Read more on:    springboks  |  rugby championship  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Is Allister Coetzee the right man to coach the Springboks?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.