Rugby World Cup: Relieved Brodie Retallick passed fit, named in All Blacks squad for France

All Blacks coach Ian Foster and his fellow selectors can breathe a sigh of relief, as Brodie Retallick's knee injury has not ruled the veteran lock out of the Rugby World Cup.

On Saturday, Retallick limped out of the All Blacks' 23-20 victory over the Wallabies in Dunedin, leading to fears he could be ruled out of the World Cup altogether.

That injury is confirmed to be a posterior cruciate ligament, but the prognosis is much better than had been feared. 

However as the 33-man squad for the World Cup squad was named on Monday, Retallick was included as one of four specialist locks - assuring that he would not be out of action for too long.

By his own admission, the 32-year-old will likely miss the All Blacks' tournament opener in a mouth-watering clash against France to begin the World Cup.

Brodie Retallick injured against Australia.
Brodie Retallick injured against Australia. Photo credit: Photosport

However, missing one game - regardless of its scale - compared to the entire tournament was a tradeoff the veteran of more than 100 tests was happy to make.

"It's always good to be named in a squad," Retallick told Newshub. "It's a little bit ginger - I'm not going to hide it.

"I got a bit of a whack in a cleanout, but going from the timeline the doctors said, I probably won't be available for the first game, but hopefully available for the second and third games.

"I've never had a knee injury until the weekend, I knew something wasn't quite right - this ligament is the best one [to injure].

"I'll take that."

For coach Ian Foster, Retallick's inclusion came at the expense of 22-year-old Josh Lord, who had impressed in the early stages of the Rugby Championship.

But while Lord represents the All Blacks' future, Retallick represents the present, making him a guaranteed selection in the 33-man squad once his injury status was confirmed.

"He's had a lot of rugby recently, we know what he can do," said Foster.

"We're really comfortable taking him. The fact we've got three other really good locks, [and] Shannon [Frizell] who can play lock means it's a calculated decision."

Along with his coach, this World Cup will be Retallick's last for the All Blacks.

As part of the core of senior players leaving after this year, Retallick is one of a handful of players to have the chance to win the World Cup for a second time.

Captain Sam Cane, Beauden Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith, Dane Coles and Retallick all won the World Cup in 2015, but missed out in Japan four years later.

And with his days as an All Black numbered, Retallick has his sights locked on an unprecedented fourth Webb Ellis Cup for New Zealand.

"It'd be awesome," he continued. "World Cups are the pinnacle of this sport, it's where everyone wants to be.

"I think the group's in a good spot, and there's a lot of work to go, but it'll be awesome."

The All Blacks face South Africa in London on August 26 (NZ time), before opening the Rugby World Cup against hosts France on September 9 (NZ time).