The Blues suffered a huge setback ahead of the Super Rugby Pacific quarter-finals when it was revealed that Patrick Tuipulotu had been ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a broken arm.
The All Blacks second-row sustained the injury during the Blues’ 16-9 victory over the Highlanders at Eden Park on Friday.
Played the full game
The 30-year-old played the full 80 minutes, and scored the only try during the match, but he was in a cast afterwards.
The Auckland-based outfit will host the Waratahs at Eden Park in the first Super Rugby Pacific quarter-final on Friday.
“It’s brutally demoralising [for him],” MacDonald told Stuff.
“He missed last year [while in Japan] and he was really excited about being in a Blues jersey this year.
“I thought he was really starting to hit his straps, with his form and his leadership, and he is a key player in our team.
“He’s a huge loss to us. I was speaking to him after the game for 10 minutes, and he didn’t say a thing, then 20 minutes later in the sheds, he’s walking around with a cast.
Did not mention his injury
“He’s not a man of a lot of words and didn’t even say he had a sore arm. But he obviously finished the game with it broken and didn’t speak of it afterwards.
“He’s a tough, old rooster, but the boys are definitely disappointed for him.”
The six-week timeframe for Tuipulotu’s recovery means the lock seems likely to miss New Zealand’s opening Rugby Championship matches against Argentina in Mendoza and South Africa in Auckland, which are scheduled for July 8 and 15 respectively.
Their third round game, against Australia in Melbourne, is set to take place on July 29 when he should be fully recovered.
READ MORE: WATCH: Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu scores the ONLY try in low-scoring New Zealand derby
The article Blues’ All Blacks lock to miss Super Rugby Pacific play-offs due to broken arm appeared first on Planetrugby.com.