Keven Mealamu cleared of serious calf injury
May 4, 2013
The Blues withstood the Stormers late charge (video available only in Australia)%]
There were fears the All Blacks veteran had torn a calf muscle when he limped off North Harbour Stadium midway through the first half, having struggled with that issue in the past, but Blues coach Sir John Kirwan said Mealamu's exit from the game was precautionary. "It [the calf] just tightened up, he didn't do anything," Kirwan told the Blues website. "This calf of his, when he starts scrumming a lot, then it can tighten up ... if we'd have left him out there, he risked tearing it and we just learnt from the past and the doctor said we need to get him off."
Mealamu has not yet been ruled out of Saturday's home match against Melbourne Rebels, but the injury adds another twist to the selection puzzle confronting All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
Mealamu has barely played this year, while fellow-34-year-old veteran Andrew Hore has not found his best form in limited appearances with the Highlanders. Hurricanes 2012 All Blacks tourist Dane Coles has battled a wrist injury, and is sidelined for a month with a fractured eye socket, while fringe contender Hika Elliot has been handed few chances with the Chiefs and was recently released by his Hawke's Bay union.
Hansen may look to restore in-form Crusaders rake Corey Flynn, 32, for the three home Tests against France, or may look at a younger option such as James Parsons of the Blues, Rhys Marshall of the Chiefs, Ben Funnell of the Crusaders, or Liam Coltman from the Highlanders.
All Blacks contenders will attend two short camps in Mt Maunganui later this month before Hansen announces his squad for the series against France on June 2.
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside