Rugby League

Rugby World Cup star suffers awful injury as team-mates turn away in horror

Rugby World Cup: France and New Zealand prepare for second matches

Namibian rugby star Le Roux Malan required immediate medical attention during his country’s World Cup match with New Zealand on Friday night, with his team-mates unable to watch as the player looked down to discover his ankle pointing in the wrong direction.

Just a matter of minutes into the contest in Toulouse, Malan slipped while at full speed and instantly started waving for the medical team while down on the turf. Play continued for a few seconds until the 24-year-old’s team-mates recognised the severity of the situation.

One by one, players from Namibia and New Zealand turned away horrified, with groans even coming from the crowd as it became quickly apparent that Malan had suffered a nasty ankle injury.

After receiving treatment and being given oxygen to help cope with the pain, Malan showed a thumbs-up to those in attendance as he was stretchered off the pitch.

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Malan’s club side, the New England Free Jacks, posted a social media statement on X (formerly Twitter) which read: “Our thoughts and hearts are with our own Le Roux Malan who suffered a lower-body injury while representing Namibia today against the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup.

“The Free Jacks family stands with Le Roux as he navigates the recovery process. We ask that Le Roux is given time and respect as the post-injury process is navigated and thank you everyone for the messages of support for Le Roux.”

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Stef Malan, who claims to be the player’s brother, responded to the club’s statement with: “Top class. I’ve spoken to my brother, he’s obviously gutted, but the strongest person I’ve met in my life and by the sounds of it, this is but the beginning.

“Thank you for the role you have played in my brother’s development and the support and opportunities you have given him.”

Meanwhile, the All Blacks responded with a well-wish of their own, writing on social media: “Our thoughts are with Namibian centre Le Roux Malan. Wishing him all the best with his recovery.”

New Zealand went on to win the match in convincing fashion, running in 11 tries to complete the 71-3 thrashing. They did, however, lose Ethan de Groot to a late red card after a high tackle on Adriaan Booysen.

The All Blacks were on a 31-match unbeaten run in Rugby World Cup pool stages until a week ago when France pulled off a 27-13 upset.

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