Crotty answers All Black SOS

Sun, 11 Aug 2013 07:59
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Canterbury and Crusaders midfielder Ryan Crotty has been called into the All Blacks squad as injury cover.

Canterbury and Crusaders midfielder Ryan Crotty has been called into the All Blacks squad as injury cover.

It comes after midfielder Francis Saili suffered a strain to his left ankle in the All Blacks' training match - against Wellington and Canterbury - on Friday.  

Saili will be sidelined for at least a week.

New Zealand start their Rugby Championship campaign against Australia in Sydney on Saturday, August 17.

The 22-year-old Saili was one of three players selected to train with the All Blacks, but were outside the Rugby Championship travelling squad.

The uncapped Crotty will fill the same role in training this week.

The New Zealand Rugby Union did not make it clear, in a statement issues on Sunday, whether he would also travel to Sydney - given other injuries within the squad, particularly to Ma'a Nonu who is also nursing an ankle problem.

Both Nonu and injured prop Wyatt Crockett sat out Friday's practice game.

Crotty was called into the squad ahead of Rene Ranger, who made himself unavailable for the All Blacks ahead of his departure for France, but said he could play in an emergency.

All Black coach Steve Hansen said Crotty was the obvious choice.

"He's played fairly well during the year, and apart from the one pass that he'll be regretting, his season's been pretty good," Hansen said.

"He's got a skill set that we like, and he was the next cab off the rank."

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