Tom Taylor succumbs to fly-half curse
August 25, 2013
Tom Taylor will miss three weeks with a rib injury © Getty Images
The curse on the All Blacks' five-eighth has claimed a fourth victim, with Tom Taylor sidelined for three weeks by a rib injury sustained late on his debut as New Zealand defeated Australia 27-16 in the Bledisloe Cup Test at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday.
He will miss New Zealand's next two Tests in The Rugby Championship, against Argentina at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on September 7 and against South Africa at Eden Park in Auckland a week later.
Taylor, 24, was a surprise selection as New Zealand playmaker ahead of Colin Slade after injuries to Dan Carter (calf), Aaron Cruden (knee) and Beauden Barrett (calf), but his memorable week threatens to be consigned as a footnote in All Blacks history with a number of the higher-ranked five-eighths due to return from injury. Carter and Barrett are expected to be fit for the Argentina Test, although Colin Slade - who came off the reserve bench in Wellington - will go to Hamilton as cover.
Taylor had spoken earlier of his satisfaction at a performance that produced 14 points with the boot and few errors in general play. He was in obvious pain but unaware of the extent of his injury.
"It hasn't been a normal week but I tried my best," he said. "I've been dreaming about rugby all week and trying to memorise all the moves. Once I was out there, it felt pretty good."
Hansen, meanwhile, said that Owen Franks had injured his groin, meaning extra front-row cover would likely be needed in Hamilton. Inside centre Ma'a Nonu was playing with a painful ankle, and needs a scan, while Liam Messam was "touch and go" to return from his hamstring injury to face Argentina.