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, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28