Conrad Smith’s injury woes continue

All Blacks centre Conrad Smith will have to fight back from a hamstring injury if he is to make an impression during the French tour of New Zealand set to start in two weeks’ time.

This is the case after Smith aggravated a Super 14 injury playing club rugby on the weekend.

Smith saw the Hurricanes’ doctor yesterday but admitted to New Zealand newspaper the Dominion Post that it was too early to know how serious the injury was.

“It’s a bit hard to know. It’s the same hamstring, which is not good. I felt it go about 20 minutes into the game and walked straight off. It’s a bit sore, but I haven’t torn it.”

“It’s why I was rested for the last two games [in the Super 14],” Smith said, adding that he “wasn’t that comfortable” when he had played.

“It’s obviously not a nice thing to have and I’ve never had hamstring problems before.

“It’s a bit of a compliment in a way because they’re speed injuries, so maybe the training’s paying off.”

The injury continues a poor run of luck for Smith, who was sidelined with a bleeding eye early in the Super 14 and was out for much of last year with a broken leg. He will want this latest setback resolved quickly as the All Blacks play France in Auckland in two weeks, followed by the second test in Wellington on June 9.

Smith needs to play in at least one of those to push his claims to start in the Tri-Nations, where he hopes to impress the coaches and remain in the squad for the World Cup.

Interest in the French tests is mixed. The match in Wellington is close to sold out, while plenty of tickets remain for the test at Eden Park.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry warned the public not to be presumptuous about the standard of the French squad, which is missing players from the top four French clubs and several others who will be at the World Cup.

“The French will be staunch opposition, I don’t think we can underestimate their ability,” Henry said.

“We have looked at the team that has been selected and are impressed with the players that are on that list. We would be naive to think they are going to be easybeats.”


365 Digital

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