Dagg has a case of 'old man syndrome'

Author
Radio Sport staff,
Section
Sport,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 5 September 2017, 2:34PM
All Black winger Israel Dagg (Photo \ Brett Phibbs)
All Black winger Israel Dagg (Photo \ Brett Phibbs)

All Blacks stalwart Israel Dagg says his niggling knee issue is a case of "old man syndrome" and fully under control ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship clash with Argentina in New Plymouth.

The 29-year-old outside back injured his knee for the Crusaders in early March and required an operation, only returning to the field in late May.

He went on to play all three British and Irish Lions Tests, as well as a protagonist's role in the Crusaders' Super Rugby triumph, but was rested from the All Blacks' two Bledisloe Cup Tests against Australia.

At the time, coach Steve Hansen said Dagg had a jammed-up knee.

 

Dagg told reporters on Monday that he'd responded well to rest but was still experiencing bone bruising and meniscus issues.

He was nevertheless ready, willing and able to take on Los Pumas.

"It kind of limits your range, things like that," Dagg said.

"There's not much you can do with bone bruising, just got to keep on top of it.

"I've worked hard on my maintenance, icing my leg, had to buy a game-ready machine and I use that every night - it's just, you know, the old man syndrome."

Hansen is expected to promote the 65-Test Dagg in a like-for-like replacement on Saturday night, slotting in for Ben Smith, who is now on sabbatical.

 

Should that occur, Dagg said he was comfortable assuming a leadership role and guiding the likes of Rieko Ioane and Damian McKenzie around the park.

He'd gained plenty of leadership experience in the Super Rugby environment, helping a youthful backline all the way to grand final success.

"I think, for me, it's not about talking or doing all the talking. It's more about actions - I've got to lead by my actions and, if the young players can see that, that can be my sort of way to lead," Dagg said.

"It's just nailing Sunday to Friday and, when it comes to Saturday, getting out there and giving it my best shot."

- AAP

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