Blues lose top lock Culum Retallick to knee injury

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 14:37 21/12/2013
Culum Retallick
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RULED OUT: A knee injury at preseason training has ruled Culum Retallick out of Super Rugby.

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The Blues locking stocks have taken a blow with lock Culum Retallick ruled out for six months after injuring his knee in preseason training.

The 28-year-old Retallick ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

A scan and specialist consultation now sees him facing surgery next month.

"I'm absolutely gutted," said Retallick.

He loomed as a key figure for the Blues' Super Rugby campaign with All Blacks locks Ali Williams and Anthony Boric having left for overseas contracts.

"I was incredibly motivated for a big year with the Blues in 2014 and had been enjoying a tough pre-season with the guys, so it's a pretty cruel blow to have this happen before the season has even started. Hopefully I can still play a part with the team towards the end of the season."

Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan said Retallick was a big loss for the team.

"There's no denying he is a big loss for us," Kirwan said.

"He's a very difficult player to replace. He had a great season for us in 2013, he's experienced, a good lineout technician and is a very big part of this team so it's a big blow.

A decision on whether or not Retallick will be replaced will be made in the New Year.

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