The New Zealand Warriors have received very bad news for their National Rugby League season, with prop Iulio Afoa, commonly known as Bunty, being ruled out for its duration. Their hopes for 2020 have been hit hard with the loss of one of the most talented forwards in the team.
Afoa was ruled out for the season after suffering a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, ACL, during a contact training session recently. The 23-year old player was supposed to part of the Nines team but didn’t make the trip and it’s been ruled highly unlikely that he will be able to return to the field before the NRL campaign comes to an end. He’s scheduled to undergo an operation to treat the injury soon.
Not only is he one of the most formidable runners in the squad with a ball in his hands, Afoa, at 1.83 metres tall and weighing 111 kilograms, also somehow packs this size and bulk into a lightweight performance on the pitch. His absence is going to add pressure on Agnatius Paasi and Leeson Ah Mau, as they’ll have to share the load, and may also mean that Sam Lisone gets back in the running.
Lisone played 11 times in 2019 but was never viewed as a regular player and there was even speculation that he might depart in the off-season, with rumours that certain Super League clubs were interested in using the 25-year old. But Afoa’s terrible setback means a new opportunity for him.
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