Smith ruled out for Hurricanes-Reds game - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith ruled out for Hurricanes-Reds game

06/05/2010 10:24:47 AM Comments (0)

The Hurricanes have suffered a major blow with influential All Blacks centre Conrad Smith ruled out of Friday's Super 14 rugby match against the Queensland Reds in Wellington.

Smith underwent psychometric testing on Wednesday for concussion and medical staff deemed on Thursday he wasn't fit to play in the key fixture between two teams clambering for semi-final berths.

Smith has been replaced at outside centre by the little-used Jason Kawau, with Willie Ripia providing backline cover on the reserve bench.

With Smith having started all but one game this season, the pressure goes on Kawau - who has struggled all season with a sinus problem and played a total of 23 minutes - to make a seamless transition alongside in-form inside centre Ma'a Nonu.

The Hurricanes will be without arguably their two best players this season, with dynamic flanker Victor Vito sidelined by a calf injury, forcing a reshuffle in the forward pack.

Jeremy Thrush was inserted at lock, with Michael Paterson moving to Vito's blindside flank.

Hurricanes: Cory Jane, Tamati Ellison, Jason Kawau, Ma'a Nonu, Hosea Gear, Aaron Cruden, Piri Weepu, Rodney So'oialo, Karl Lowe, Michael Paterson, Bryn Evans, Jeremy Thrush, Neemia Tialata, Andrew Hore (capt), Jacob Ellison. Reserves: Dane Coles, John Schwalger, Nick Crosswell, Scott Waldrom, Tyson Keats, Willie Ripia, David Smith

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