Lengthy rehab finally over for All Blacks midfielder
All Black Quinn Tupaea ‘pretty happy’ with return from ACL injury
All Blacks and Chiefs mid-fielder Quinn Tupaea is back playing with Waikato after a lenghty 10 month rehabilatation.
Tupaea played 40 minutes against Taranaki as apart of the Chiefs Centurions Cup competition at the weekend.
“I was a little nervous about the game but pretty confident on how my knee would hold up.
“Once I got out there and had my first carry and tackle, it came back pretty naturally”.
The Cup involves a quadrandgular one-day tournament against provinces Bay of Plenty, Counties Manukau, Taranaki and Waikato.
Playing against some of his own teammates he said a lot of banter was involved, “but it was good and a lot of fun”.
However, the 24-year-old admitted that it has been difficult mentally during the rehabilitation process.
“Looking back it now it was was a tough thing to go through, but I got through it well.
“I had a great support crew around me that helped me. I am pretty happy with my timing coming back, I was never in a rush to get back on a certain date”.
Focusing on the NPC season and what he can bring to the team will be his primary goal for the remainder of the year.
“I’m looking forward to putting my best foot forawrd for the Waikato team and if anything comes from that it will be a positive, but I’m fully committed to doing a full season at Waikato”.
Tupaea last appearance with the All Blacks was against the Wallabies last year where he was controversially cleaned out of a ruck by Australian lock Darcy Swain.
The injury resulted in a lengthy process of rehabilitation, including missing out on playing with the Chiefs after a memorable season.
Despite finding it hard to watch from the sidelines, “I was still able to help in other areas which was cool for myself”.
After watching the last two All Black games, Tupaea said: “they have played very well and they are playing fast tempo games and really attacking that first 20 minutes.
“Their breakdown and ball carry is very good at the moment.
“It’s been awesome watching the Chiefs boys in there carving it up”.
The All Blacks faces the Wallabies on Saturday in Melbourne.
“It’s always a physical games no matter how both teams are going, it’s going to be a close one”.
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