TJ Perenara in a race against Time for RWC2023

After rupturing his Achilles tendon against England, All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara is in a race against time to be ready for the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

After being selected for coach Ian Foster's northern tour team, Perenara came off the bench in the draw at Twickenham, his second test in the black jersey this year.

Foster, however, has stated that the Hurricanes halfback will be out for nine months after pulling up short towards the conclusion of the test, and that he won't be participating in the Super Rugby Pacific tournament in 2023.

"TJ has ruptured his Achilles," he said. "We're gutted for him. It's the 78th minute and he's innocuously gone to chase a kick, and it's gone bang, which hurts."

The role of Aaron Smith's backup is still very much up for grabs because fellow halfback Folau Fakatava is still recovering from an ACL tear. Brad Weber and Finlay Christie have both played for the All Blacks this season, but neither has firmly established themselves as bench options.

After playing a season of club rugby in Japan two years ago, Perenara, 30, briefly considered transferring to rugby league. He also appeared to have fallen behind Christie, Fakatava, and Weber until battling his way back into the mix with his superb NPC performance for champions Wellington.


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