x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Vito injury blow for All Blacks

New Zealand's World Cup Sevens hopes have been dealt a considerable blow after it was revealed their kingpin, Victor Vito, may play no further part in the tournament.

DUBAI // New Zealand's World Cup Sevens hopes have been dealt a considerable blow after it was revealed their kingpin, Victor Vito, may play no further part in the tournament. Vito, who has been hailed as the new Jonah Lomu, sustained a calf injury in the days leading up to the tournament. He baffled the team's medical staff by recovering his fitness in time to make the final squad. However, he then broke down again in warming up for the opening match of day two, against the Arabian Gulf, with a recurrence of the same injury. He limped away from the field, and cut a dejected figure on the sidelines later in the evening when New Zealand sealed their place in the quarter-finals with a comfortable win over Tonga. "He is not ruled out," said the coach Gordon Tietjens. "We will have to see how he is in the morning. He was pretty down about it, pretty devastated." England finally lived up to their pre-tournament billing in the penultimate match of this evening, as they dispatched an in-form Kenya side. They had underwhelmed during an opening day win over Hong Kong, then were nearly embarrassed by Tunisia, who they eventually beat 26-24 early this morning. Their playmaker, Ben Gollings, said: "Deep down, we knew we had a few more gears to go and time has showed that. We are looking forward to the quarter-finals now." England will play Samoa in tomorrow's quarter-finals, and their coach Ben Ryan said: "This team is assembled for big games ? it is what they do very well. "That is going to be a humdinger of a game in the quarter-final. We have had a real love-hate relationship with Samoa, and we actually shared a dressing-room with them today."

pradley@thenational.ae