Injured All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara has provided an update on his road to recovery, as the test veteran continues to race against the clock ahead of this year’s World Cup in France.
When Perenara ruptured his Achilles during last year’s end-of-season tour, his dream of a third World Cup appearance had seemingly suffered a devastating blow.
The star scrumhalf was seen limping from the field in the dying stages of the All Blacks’ stunning draw with England at Twickenham last year.
Perenara, who has played 80 test matches in the black jersey, was reportedly set for a nine month stint on the sidelines.
It was a cruel blow for one of the stalwarts of New Zealand Rugby, who had only recently been recalled to the national team after falling behind Finlay Christie and Folau Fakatava in the depth chart.
But not all hope is lost.
Perenara told Newshub that he’s “confident” about his recovery, and is even hoping to play for the Hurricanes towards the end of the upcoming Super Rugby Pacific campaign.
“I know my body, I understand how my body works, it’s feeling good now,” Perenara told Newshub.
“I feel really confident about my recovery.
“I love the challenge of trying to wake up and be better than I was the day before, that could be one like thing, like today I’m walking better than I walked yesterday and it’s starting to become more natural,” he added.
Perenara has done it all in test rugby, but appears hungrier than ever to book his seat on the plane to France for this year’s World Cup.
Having won the sports most prestigious trophy in 2015, the 31-year-old would add some invaluable experience to the All Blacks setup.
And he isn’t going to let this injury define him or his goals.
“If you’re lucky you might play 30 odd games a year, 15 club games and 15 international games. That leaves a lot of other days, 335 days, where you can continue to try and get better.
“Even if I never end up playing again, and touch wood that doesn’t happen, I can build some really good relationships here and some really cool memories for me in the future as well.”
The All Blacks begin their World Cup campaign against hosts France in early September. The countdown to the event is well and truly on.
Before then, rugby fans in the Southern Hemisphere have Super Rugby to look forward to.
Super Rugby Pacific gets underway at the end of this month, with the Crusaders hosting the Chiefs in a blockbuster to start the campaign.
As for Perenara’s Hurricanes, they kick-off their season on February 25th against the Queensland Reds in Townsville.
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