Well another player fallen victim to injury and is out for the entire super 14 and maybe the world cup, But at least this could leave the door open for some younger talent eg Clarke Dermody :cheers:
New Zealand's rugby World Cup campaign suffered its first hiccup of 2007 with confirmation that Canterbury prop Greg Somerville is out of rugby for the first half of the year.
A second operation on Somerville's achilles tendon will see the 55-test veteran miss the Crusaders' entire Super 14 campaign and throws serious doubt on his All Blacks involvement.
All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson told The Press newspaper a cyst was discovered last month on the tendon Somerville snapped while playing against the Springboks at Pretoria on August 26.
The tendon was first operated on in early September but the cyst forced a second operation just before Christmas and meant the 29-year-old was likely to need up to six months to recover.
Robinson said that with props it was difficult to tell how long was needed for achilles and calf injuries to heal.
"It's hard to say exactly how long he will be out for -- six months is a ball-park figure with these injuries," Robinson said.
The All Blacks play their first test of the year against France in Auckland on June 2 while their Tri Nations campaign begins against the Springboks in South Africa on June 24.
Their first World Cup match is on September 8 against Italy.
Crusaders coach Robbie Deans said he was confident Somerville would be fit for international consideration later in the year.
"It shouldn't affect his likely involvement for the World Cup," Deans said.
"While it's not exciting news for Greg, it at least takes the pressure off him to rush back and re-enter the fray."
Somerville's experience and versatility would make him a near-certainty to be in the All Blacks' World Cup squad if fit.
He and Wellingtonian Neemia Tialata can play on both sides of the scrum, making them the perfect support players for first-choice props Carl Hayman and Tony Woodcock.
Somerville was one of 22 players named in the All Blacks' conditioning programme, meaning he wouldn't have returned to action until late March, allowing further time to regain his fitness.
Injury has barely impacted on Somerville's career since debuting for the All Blacks in 2000.
He is just three tests short of the 58 tests played by Craig Dowd, the most by an All Blacks prop.
Somerville also registered his 100th appearance in Super rugby for the Crusaders during last year's semifinal win over the Bulls.
Deans said Somerville won't be replaced in the Crusaders squad as their are four other props in their squad -- Wyatt Crockett, Campbell Johnstone, Ben Franks and Ben May.
Copyright: NZPA 2007[/b]