All Black midfielder Ben Smith evades the tackle Scotland's
Tim Visser during their test match at Murrayfield Stadium
in Edinburgh. REUTERS/David Moir
The All Blacks' latest test midfield pairing of Tamati
Ellison and Ben Smith will head for X-rays in Rome.
Both were sore after the 51-22 victory against Scotland and
when they were examined again today, team Dr Deb Robinson
decided they should get a further diagnosis.
Ellison was limping after damaging his foot, while Smith was
in some discomfort with a facial injury after several heavy
collisions in the match at Murrayfield.
Ellison had some version of 'turf toe' which had affected his
work starting at second five eighths, while Smith had a very
There was encouraging news about fullback Israel Dagg, who
had to be replaced in the test after landing heavily on his
tailbone and backside.
He took some time to get to his feet before he left the field
slowly but without any assistance.
Dagg told the staff he felt more comfortable today but his
fitness for the next test against Italy remains in doubt.
If he is unable to turn out, Beauden Barrett, Cory Jane or
Smith, if fit, would be contenders to fill the fullback
duties or perhaps Aaron Cruden as a wildcard option.
The further tour prospects of flanker Adam Thomson remain
uncertain after he was cited to front a judicial hearing to
answer an inquiry into his careless bootwork on the head of
his opposite Alasdair Strokosch.
Details about the hearing have not been finalised but Thomson
may have to fly to London to answer the charge.
- Wynne Gray of the New Zealand Herald