New Zealand
Fears over Fekitoa ankle injury downplayed
May 19, 2014
Fekitoa is likely to be included in the Test squad as cover for Conrad Smith © Getty Images

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is unconcerned by the sight of new recruit Malakai Fekitoa in a moon boot at the first training camp of the year. Uncapped centre Fekitoa, who has enjoyed a stunning debut season for the Highlanders, suffered an ankle injury in his team's win over the Hurricanes and took a limited part in a weight session on the first day of the three-day camp in Christchurch on Sunday.

However, the 22-year-old is expected to be fit for the Highlanders' next Super Rugby game against the Crusaders and available for selection when Hansen whittles his camp squad of 35 down to 31 to face England. That squad, unveiled on June 1, will play three home Tests against England and may include Fekitoa as cover for centre Conrad Smith.

"He's just got a foot strain so medical staff don't want him to put too much weight on it," Hansen told journalists. "I'm sure he will be fine by Saturday. I know it looks serious and dramatic but medical staff are saying he's going to be okay."

A second training camp will be held in Wellington from May 25-27. Crusaders forward Luke Whitelock is attending the first training camp, and will be replaced for the second camp by Hurricanes lock Jeremy Thrush. The other 34 players will remain unchanged.


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