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All Blacks gamble on Retallick

ReutersWELLINGTON, (Reuters) — The importance of Brodie Retallick to the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup chances were hammered home when coach Steve Hansen named him in the squad despite the injured lock being likely to miss the entire pool stage of the tournament.

Retallick dislocated his shoulder and suffered nerve damage in a match against South Africa in June, an injury he feared might prevent him from being selected for his second World Cup.

Hansen, though, has reasoned that the two-time defending champions will be able to get through the group stage without the 2014 World Player of the Year. South Africa are their only real threat to top spot in Pool B, which also includes Canada, Namibia and Italy.

Retallick began turning heads playing for Christchurch Boy’s High but was a rare miss by the Crusaders scouts and he ended up moving north to provincial side Hawke’s Bay before joining the Waikato Chiefs in 2012.Speech

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