A gash from Damian Willemse’s boots has left New Zealand a man light in the front row, while the All Blacks wait to hear on Scott Barrett’s fate.
Tyrel Lomax had to be helped from the field in the first half of New Zealand’s record loss to the Springboks at Twickenham.
The tighthead prop suffered a nasty gash in his thigh from the blade of Damian Willemse’s boots, in a tackle attempt on the Springbok fullback.
Speaking to New Zealand media after the loss, All Blacks coach Foster eased fears that Lomax could miss the World Cup, but said the injury would definitely keep him out of the opener against France in Paris on September 9.
“Tyrel is very sore. He’s our worst injury. He’s got 30 stitches,” Foster was quoted by the New Zealand Herald. “He got stitched by a surgeon last night at different depths it’s actually gone into the muscle.
“His leg will be in a brace for four or five days as we give that a chance to heal. Long term he looks good, but he’s put himself into the unlikely category for a fortnight.
“I see no reason why we’d be changing Tyrel [from the World Cup squad].”
Lomax joined fellow influential forwards Brodie Retallick and Shannon Frizell in what is becoming a mounting All Blacks injury ward.
Foster is also concerned over the availability of Scott Barrett for the opening clash, after the lock was shown two yellow cards at Twickenham.
If Barrett is cited and suspended, that could New Zealand with just two fit locks – Sam Whitelock and Tupou Vaa’i – against France and would require loose forward Luke Jacobson to cover the second row.
“I’m not sure we’re waiting to see,” Foster said about Barrett. “The facts are the first yellow was not for foul play. The second was a yellow card – it wasn’t a red card – so we’ll have to see.
“The judiciary fortunately don’t judge things on the reaction of people on the opposition they judge them on facts.”
Photo: Ian Kington / AFP