All Blacks' Damian McKenzie to miss Rugby World Cup with ACL injury

Damian Mc Kenzie leaves the field.
Chiefs v Blues Super Rugby FMG Waikato Stadium

The Chiefs player suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while on club duty at the weekend against the Blues with All Blacks head coach, Steven Hansen, fearful that more of his squad could suffer injuries in the lead up to the World Cup due to the ferocity of the Super Rugby.

Damian McKenzie reacts to his injury against the Blues.

McKenzie has 23 Test caps for New Zealand, and the news will come as a major blow to the defending world champions who begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa in Yokohama on September 21.

"It's a real shame for him, his World Cup opportunity has gone but he's still young enough to probably make the next two (World Cups)".

The Chiefs fullback was helped from the field in the second half of the Chiefs' win 33-29 over the Blues in Hamilton on Saturday.

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"We know he can play test rugby, he just has to show that he's got the ability to do that on a weekly basis at Super Rugby level and then we have to make hard decisions".

Several other players are making their way back from injuries, including loose forwards Sam Cane and Liam Squire, prop Owen Franks, and halfback Aaron Smith.

Much as Ireland fans were lamenting the news recently that Dan Leavy will miss this year's Rugby World Cup, now New Zealand will be without a outrageously talented playmaker.

Hansen said no one knew "what [Nonu] was going to come back like".

Other All Blacks now out of Super Rugby because of injury include Owen Franks, Aaron Smith, Liam Squire, Luke Whitelock, Codie Taylor, Waisake Naholo and George Bridge.

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