All Blacks hit by injuries with Lions on horizon

Sun, 12 Mar 2017 10:54
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INJURY UPDATE: A gruelling round three of Super Rugby this weekend has proved costly for New Zealand's backline, with five All Blacks sidelined with leg injuries.

Israel Dagg, Waisake Naholo, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Seta Tamanivalu and Lima Sopoaga were all injured ahead of the arrival of the British and Irish Lions in June.

The fullback cupboard is almost bare with the enforced absence of utilities Dagg and Milner-Skudder, which followed the concussion that has kept Ben Smith sidelined since the Highlanders' first-round match against the Chiefs.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson told Radio Live Dagg was unlikely to be back this month.

"It didn't look great so that's an indication of what we are dealing with. It's not a major-major but it will be a few weeks for sure."

Dagg and Tamanivalu were injured early in the Crusaders' come-from-behind performance to beat the Reds 22-20 in Brisbane.

Naholo and Sopoaga limped off during the Highlanders 16-12 win over the Blues.

Sopoaga landed two penalties and a conversion in the match before he was injured attempting a try-saving tackle on fellow All Black George Moala.

"It doesn't look good," Highlanders coach Tony Brown told reporters.

"It looks like Lima will be out for a while; Waisake probably the same. Hamstrings don't come right overnight so those guys are going to be tough to replace."

Milner-Skudder, one of the stars of the 2015 World Cup, missed nearly all rugby last year because of a shoulder injury.

He scored three tries in his first game for the Hurricanes this season and looked to be back to his best until he injured an ankle during their 26-18 loss to the Waikato Chiefs last Friday.

Milner-Skudder has his foot in a moon boot and is scheduled to have a scan on Monday, with Hurricanes assistant coach Jason Holland fearing ligament damage that would keep him sidelined for at least four weeks.

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Lions v Bulls 51 | 14
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 18 | 16
Sunwolves v Sharks 17 | 38
Force v Highlanders 6 | 55
Hurricanes v Cheetahs 61 | 7
Fri, 19 May 2017
Leinster v Scarlets 15 | 27
Stormers v Blues 30 | 22
Chiefs v Crusaders 24 | 31
Sat, 13 May 2017
Jaguares v Force 6 | 16
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19