New Zealand v England: Influential centre Conrad Smith ruled out of third Test with broken thumb as Kieran Read prepares for return
Smith will be replaced by either Malakai Fekitoa or Ryan Crotty as Read is nearing a return from concussion
Monday 16 June 2014
New Zealand centre Conrad Smith has been ruled out of Saturday's final Test against England with a broken thumb.
Smith sustained the damage to a bone in his right hand during the 28-27 series-clinching victory at Forsyth Barr Stadium and will be sidelined for five to six weeks.
Malakai Fekitoa or Ryan Crotty are in line to replace the outstanding 32-year-old midfielder, who was a try-scorer in Dunedin.
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen will unveil his new outside centre at Wednesday's team announcement, with Fekitoa the favourite to start after spending the first two Tests of the series on the bench.
"We have an idea of who we'll go for, but we don't need to tell England who that is," Hansen said.
"Ryan's been there and done that and been in the atmosphere, but what it'll come down to is whether we think Malakai's ready or not."
Number eight Kieran Read could return at Waikato Stadium after missing the Auckland and Dunedin Tests through concussion, while Beauden Barrett is a candidate to replace Aaron Cruden at fly-half.
Paul Scholes on Raheem Sterling: Moving between Liverpool and Manchester United still an issue
Radamel Falcao: 'Changes are not easy, but there are times when you have to'
Paul Scholes: I'm sticking my neck out - Hull to win and Newcastle to be relegated on final day
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
- 1 JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 4 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 5 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
The day that Britain resigned as a global power