The Weepu and Perenara phone accounts had another workout this week as the rugby rollercoaster went into reverse for the two Wellington halfbacks.
Piri Weepu has long been a mentor for TJ Perenara and last month the veteran showed his class by immediately offering congratulations as the young buck replaced him in the All Blacks' Rugby Championship squad.
The caller was the same this week but the message the opposite as Weepu replaced Perenara in the squad to tour Argentina and South Africa.
Perenara will have to wait to make his test debut after a stress fracture was discovered in his left ankle this week.
"It's been a rough couple of days bro," Perenara said.
"Piri was the first to call me when he found out and he's been nothing but good to me. He gave me his best wishes on my recovery and I gave him my best wishes on him playing. He's fully supportive and I know that he'll do the job over there when he gets on. It's gutting for me but I'm stoked for him as well."
Perenara has been told he will be out of rugby for six weeks but plans to return earlier if he can.
He had been experiencing increasing pain in the ankle he broke in Brisbane last year and a scan in Wellington on Monday revealed the injury.
The 21-year-old Hurricane has been in and out of All Blacks camps and has played in just two of Wellington's NPC games.
But he is a fitness freak and thinks his running regime may have contributed to the stress fracture.
"That's all I could put it down to, to be honest. I've been doing the same things throughout the year. There might have been a little problem there while I was playing and I never really took notice of it until it started hurting a little bit more. It could be where the [metal] plate and the bone meet, there could be an issue there. I'm not 100 per cent certain, I just know it hurts a little bit and a little bit of rest is going to heal it, apparently."
Perenara can still swim, cycle and work out in the gym and hopes to squeeze in a game for Wellington to stake a claim for the end of year tour.
He had been biding his time behind Aaron Smith and Tawera Kerr-Barlow but felt he was readying himself for a long awaited debut.
"Being behind two quality halfbacks, you can accept they're both playing very good footy. But it was frustrating and this is a little bit gutting for it to happen now, to be honest. I was starting to feel a bit more comfortable in the environment and getting to know the gameplan and the boys a little bit more."
- The Dominion Post
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