Jordie Barrett out of Bledisloe Cup

 

Rising All Blacks star Jordie Barrett has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.

The Hurricanes fullback is scheduled for surgery, and the All Blacks have called in Crusaders No.15 David Havili ahead of the upcoming Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship.

Longtime All Blacks fullback Ben Smith is available and will almost certainly start in this month's opening two Tests - the Bledisloe Cup matches against Australia in Sydney and Dunedin - but is then scheduled to take a sabbatical for the rest of the year.

Rookie Barrett, 20, has made a startling rise this year, earning his All Blacks debut against Samoa in June and earned a starting berth in the drawn third Test against the British and Irish Lions when Smith was unavailable due to concussion symptoms.

Scott, Jordie and Beauden Barrett. Image: Getty

Barrett suffered his injury in the latter stages of the Hurricanes' Super Rugby semi-final loss to the Lions in Johannesburg last month, with tests last week in Christchurch confirming he has likely torn the ligament right off the bone.

Havili - capable of playing anywhere across the backline - will compete with the likes of Damian McKenzie, Israel Dagg and Nehe Milner-Skudder for the black No.15 jumper in subsequent 2017 Tests.

However, asssistant coach Ian Foster confirmed that both Dagg and Milner-Skudder were primarily seen as wingers by the All Blacks top brass.

He talked up Havili, saying the Crusaders ace had enjoyed a strong Super Rugby campaign and had a Test-level kicking and running game.

"He's played in a number of positions so he brings that to the table, but he's looked very settled at fullback - it's nice to reward a player who's played his way in through good form," Foster said.

"He brings a nice all-round skillset that we've been interested in him for a while, without being able to find a place."

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