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McKenzie in as All Blacks concerned over Smith concussions

25 June 2017

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd also selected 2015 World Cup victor Nehe Milner-Skudder on the right wing as he battles back from virtually 16 months out of the game.

Fullback Smith failed a head injury assessment during the first half, while Crotty limped off later in the spell with a hamstring injury and will definitely miss next week's test in Wellington, coach Steve Hansen said.

All Blacks backs Jordie Barrett, Julian Savea and Ngani Laumape have been released to play for the Hurricanes against the British and Irish Lions on Tuesday.

He wasn't keen to deny them the opportunity to face the tourists and said the experience would be good for their careers.

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They are available for second test selection.

Smith left the field in the first half of the 30-15 victory at Eden Park on Saturday after making some uncharacteristic errors under the high ball.

Brad Shields will take up the captaincy role again in the absence of regular Dane Coles.

"Julian will be disappointed that he didn't play in that Test match but I'm sure his motivation will be around playing well for the Hurricanes".

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The defending Investec Super Rugby champion's starting team also includes four Maori All Blacks in right wing Nehe Milner-Skudder, first five Otere Black, halfback Te Toirora-Tahuriorangi and prop Ben May.

Savea, along with Jordie Barrett, Ngani Laumape and Vaea Fifita will start for the Hurricanes in the final midweek fixture of the tour.

Boyd and assistant coach John Plumtree have coached against the Lions twice previously as a combination - for Wellington in 2005 and South Africa's Sharks in 2009.

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McKenzie in as All Blacks concerned over Smith concussions