All Blacks duo in doubt for final Test
INJURY UPDATE: New Zealand could be without the services of Hurricanes pair Beauden Barrett and Vaea Fifita for their final June Test against France on Saturday due to concussion symptoms.
Barrett and Fifita will not travel to Dunedin with the All Blacks squad after both left the pitch in their side’s 26-13 win in Wellington on Saturday with head knocks.
Barrett managed just 12 minutes of action. He left the game after coming down awkwardly after being contested in the air by French fullback Benjamin Fall. Barrett was unable to return after failing his head injury assessment, and Fall was subsequently red-carded for his challenge.
Head coach Steve Hansen said his team is looking to establish more depth this year so will weigh up risk versus reward regarding selection for the third Test in Dunedin.
Reserve hooker Nathan Harris has also been ruled out of the third test. As previously announced, he will head home for the birth of his first child, while loose forward Liam Squire is in doubt with a shoulder injury.
Squire has only recently recovered from a broken thumb that has kept him out of eight games during the Super Rugby season.
Hurricanes hooker Ricky Riccitelli and Highlanders utility forward Jackson Hemopo have joined the squad as cover.
23-year-old Riccitelli and 24-year-old Hemopo have both previously represented New Zealand at the Under 20 level but haven’t yet been part of the All Blacks set-up.
Hemopo’s Highlanders teammate Tom Franklin was previously called in as cover for Brodie Retallick.