/ Rugby

Conrad Smith ruled out of final England Test

Updated: Monday, 16 Jun 2014 09:30 | Comments

Conrad Smith (L) attempts to tackle England's Marland Yarde
Conrad Smith (L) attempts to tackle England's Marland Yarde

New Zealand centre Conrad Smith has been ruled out of Saturday's final Test against England with a broken thumb.

Smith sustained the damage to a bone in his right hand during the 28-27 series-clinching victory at Forsyth Barr Stadium and will be sidelined for five to six weeks.

Malakai Fekitoa or Ryan Crotty are in line to replace the outstanding 32-year-old midfielder, who scored a late match-winning try in the first Test in Auckland.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen will unveil his new outside centre at Wednesday's team announcement, with Fekitoa the favourite to start after spending the first two Tests of the series on the bench.

"We have an idea of who we'll go for, but we don't need to tell England who that is," Hansen said.

"Ryan's been there and done that and been in the atmosphere, but what it'll come down to is whether we think Malakai's ready or not."

Number eight Kieran Read could return at Waikato Stadium after missing the Auckland and Dunedin Tests through concussion, while Beauden Barrett is a candidate to replace Aaron Cruden at fly-half.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip