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Smith blow for All Blacks

Fri, 15 Aug 2014 06:45
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New Zealand suffered a late setback, with All Black centre Conrad Smith having pulled out of this weekend's Rugby Championship opener against Australia.

New Zealand suffered a late setback, with All Black centre Conrad Smith having pulled out of this weekend's Rugby Championship opener against Australia.

He returned home for the birth of his child, team officials said Friday.

"Conrad Smith has returned to NZ to be with his wife who is expecting a baby. Ryan Crotty called into AB squad as cover," the All Blacks announced on their official Twitter feed.

The absence of 77-Test veteran Smith, who has forged a record-breaking centres partnership with Ma'a Nonu, is a major blow for the All Blacks as they chase a record-breaking 18th consecutive win.

Malakai Fekitoa will start in his place, with Crotty on the bench.
      
New Zealand - revised: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Joe Moody, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Sam Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Ryan Crotty.

Date: Saturday, August 16
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 20.00 (22.00 NZ time; 10.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 05 September 2015
Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets 16h15 Scotstoun
Golden Lions v EP Kings 17h10 Ellis Park
Munster v Treviso 18h45 Musgrave Park
France v Scotland 19h00 Paris
Sun, 06 September 2015
United States v Australia 23h30 Chicago
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 13h30 Cardiff
Fri, 11 September 2015
EP Kings v Free State Cheetahs 17h10 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Dragons v Zebre 18h05 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 18h35 Scotstoun
Sat, 12 September 2015
Griquas v Pumas 22h00 Kimberley
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 05 September 2015
England v Ireland 21 | 13
Sharks v Pumas 27 | 26
Fri, 04 September 2015
Edinburgh v Leinster 16 | 9
Ulster v Ospreys 28 | 6
Connacht v Dragons 29 | 23
Blue Bulls v Free State Cheetahs 24 | 17
Sat, 29 August 2015
EP Kings v Sharks 20 | 24
Scotland v Italy 48 | 7
Samoa v Barbarians 24 | 27
Ireland v Wales 10 | 16
Griquas v Blue Bulls 32 | 46
Fri, 28 August 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 28 | 21
Pumas v Golden Lions 11 | 41
Sat, 22 August 2015
Canada v United States 23 | 41
France v England 25 | 20
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 13
New Zealand 3 2 0 1 9
Argentina 3 1 0 2 5
South Africa 3 0 0 3 2