Thomson steps in for All Blacks

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 08:50

Adam Thomson will replace the injured Victor Vito in what looks likely to be the only change to Steve Hansen's All Blacks side for the second Test against Ireland.

Vito will miss the rest of the series against Ireland due to a knee injury he picked up in the first Test on Saturday.

The hard-working Vito, who plays at No.8 for the Hurricanes but had stepped in on the blindside in the absence of Jerome Kaino, will be sidelined for three to five weeks which means he may miss some Super Rugby fixtures as well.

Highlanders flank Thomson will step into the starting line-up whilst Chiefs captain Liam Messam will join the squad as cover.

Vito left the field in the opening Test at Eden Park with a cut to the face, but was also suffering from the knee injury which was subsequently found to be damage to his medial ligament.

Hansen told Fairfax media: "It's unfortunate for him [Vito], but I guess it gives someone else an opportunity.

"Liam [Messam]is on stand-by now, and if we lose another loose forward then he will come into the squad, but he will train with us in Hamilton.

Thomson looks likely to be the only change to Hansen's side for the second Test as the world champions look to build on an impressive performance last week by keeping the same combinations in place.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster explained: "Changes are possible but we want to go out and build combinations and keep learning from last week."