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All Blacks draft in Crusaders prop Newell to cover Tu’ungafasi injury

All Blacks draft in Crusaders prop Newell to cover Tu’ungafasi injury

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - New Zealand Team Announcement Press Conference - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - November 22, 2018 New Zealand's Ofa Tu'ungafasi and Patrick Tuipulotu during the press conference REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

MELBOURNE : Uncapped Canterbury Crusaders prop Fletcher Newell has been drafted into New Zealand's squad for the tour of South Africa to replace the injured Ofa Tu'ungafasi.

Tu'ungafasi suffered a neck injury in the defeat to Ireland at Wellington and will remain in New Zealand along with injured team mates Brodie Retallick, Jack Goodhue and Nepo Laulala, the team said on Tuesday.

He will target a return for the home test against Argentina in Christchurch on Aug. 27.

Coach Ian Foster rewarded 22-year-old Newell for his performances at Super Rugby and at provincial level with Canterbury, the All Blacks said.

The Lincoln University student will link up with Crusaders forwards coach Jason Ryan, who replaced John Plumtree as All Blacks assistant coach in the fall-out from the surprise 2-1 series defeat to Ireland.

"I definitely didn't expect to get that phone call and I still can't really get my head around it," said Newell of his call-up.

"Me and Jason have a really good relationship that we've built throughout the years.

"He's been a massive contributor to my growth and I can't wait to just keep moving forward."

The All Blacks open their Rugby Championship against South Africa in Mbombela on Aug. 6, with a second match against the Springboks a week later in Johannesburg.

Source: Reuters
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