All Blacks suffer Smith blow
July 25, 2012
Smith has been in terrific form for the Hurricanes this season © Getty Images
All Blacks centre Conrad Smith will miss the opening two rounds of the new Rugby Championship at least with an eye injury.
The centre requires more time to recover after having two operations on his eye since the Hurricanes' last Super Rugby match.
Hurricanes Doctor Ian Murphy said: "Conrad had two procedures on his left eye for a retinal detachment last week, with the second on Friday. They both went well and he is now recovering at home. At this stage he is expected to be out of training for six weeks."
Smith will therefore miss the world champions' first two matches against Australia in Sydney on August 18 and in Auckland a week later. Smith's absence is a further blow for the All Blacks with Sonny Bill Williams also out of the tournament after confirming his move to Japan.
Richard Kahui, who began his international career at 13 before moving on to the wing during last year's World Cup, is also unavailable as he continues to recover from a shoulder dislocation on May 13.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'