All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara has ruptured his Achilles and faces a race against time to be fit for next year’s World Cup.
Head coach Ian Foster confirmed the injury this morning in London, saying it happened in the final moments at Twickenham as the All Blacks attempted, and failed, to defend a 25-18 lead, England fighting back to earn a 25-all draw.
“We’re gutted for him,” Foster said. “It’s the 78th minute, and he’s innocuously gone to chase a kick, and it’s gone bang which hurts.”
Perenara’s kick gave away the possession which England made full use of at the end to draw a Test the All Blacks were in charge of after leading 25-6 with nine minutes remaining.
The 30-year-old was given the opportunity after an outstanding performance off the bench a week earlier against Scotland in Edinburgh when replacing Finlay Christie.
Christie or Brad Weber will likely fight it out to become the main back-up to Aaron Smith for the World Cup, which starts with a Test between France and the All Blacks in Paris on September 9 NZT.
Highlanders halfback Folau Fakatava is a doubt for Super Rugby next year after rupturing his ACL.