The Rugby Championship
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 EMEA Ltd
"The fans could not be happier with the opposition and it adds an exciting element to a game that is shaping up as a thriller." Ben Kay previews the Premiership final showdown
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel