- Johnson boost for Kiwis
- Sutton firming for Fiji debut
- Milford keen for World Cup
- Galloway injury blow for Scotland
- USA name Vaivai for Test
New Zealand halfback Shaun Johnson has been cleared to take his place at the World Cup after scans confirmed the knee injury he sustained last Friday night wasn’t as serious as initially feared.
Johnson, whose last minute try against England at Wembley snatched a place for the Kiwis in the 2013 World Cup final, ruptured the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Warriors loss to Penrith.
The injury was initially diagnosed as a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which would have ruled Johnson out for the season but Warriors team doctor John Mayhew said the 26-year-old would be able to play in six to eight weeks.
“This is a much better outcome than we had expected,” Mayhew said. “We had believed the injury was likely to be an ACL but scans have indicated this isn’t so and Shaun won’t need surgical intervention to repair the injury.”
The news is a huge relief for New Zealand coach David Kidwell as it means that even if the Warriors don’t make the play-offs and Johnson doesn’t play again before the World Cup, he will be fit for the tournament.
Sutton firming for Fiji debut
John Sutton has given the best indication yet that he is set to make his long awaited debut for Fiji at the World Cup.
Sutton, who captained South Sydney to the 2014 NRL premiership and has played a record 276 games for the club, is eligible to play for the Bati through his Fiji-born mother, Rotuma.
"My mum would definitely love me to play but I've just got to finish the rest of this year and see how the body is feeling," Sutton told nrl.com.
"I've spoken to the [Fiji] coaching staff about maybe playing so we'll just have to wait and see. I've never played before so it would be something special and I suppose I could bring a bit of experience."
With Jarryd Hayne appearing unlikely to be selected by Australia after being overlooked for the ANZAC Test and the Kangaroos Merit team named after the Origin series, Fiji officials are hoping that he and Sutton will be the Bati halves pairing.
Rugby union-bound Parramatta winger Semi Radradra also told Fiji media during a trip home with Melbourne try-scoring sensation Suliasi Vunivalu last week that he hoped to play for the Bati at the World Cup.