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All Blacks Newcomer Smith Sent For X-Rays

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
All Blacks Newcomer Smith Sent For X-Rays

NZPA correspondent

London, Nov 15 NZPA - All Blacks winger Ben Smith is being sent for x-rays on a badly bruised thumb, an unwanted souvenir from his test rugby debut against Italy.

All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen said Smith would have the medical checks as soon as possible to ensure he could continue on the tour after a promising start to his international career.

"Ben got a bang on his thumb which we're going to get x-rayed tomorrow, but he got it right in the first minute of the game and played through it so it should be all right to carry on playing," Hansen said as the team touched down in London today.

The injury happened when Smith landed awkwardly after dropping his first touch, a box kick from Italy halfback Tito Tebaldi. The All Blacks went on to win the test 20-6.

The 23-year-old Otago winger recovered well in a strong debut with limited chances, with Hansen praising him for his composure and predicting All Blacks fans would see "a lot more of him".

Meanwhile, Hansen said experienced loosehead prop Tony Woodcock should be available for selection against England on Sunday (NZT) after he was ruled out of the Italy test with a back injury.

"He's come through the week well, not as sore as he has been, he scrummed okay the other day so he should be all right for selection."

Woodcock's return will be much needed after Wyatt Crockett's torrid time against Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni, although the All Blacks contended he was boring in and pushing the laws to the limit.


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