Francis Saili won’t play against England for the All Blacks after an ankle injury was diagnosed as serious.
Midfield back Francis Saili is out of contention for the All Blacks’ Tests against England in June after being diagnosed with a serious ankle injury.
Saili and Blues midfield colleague Jackson Willison will both be sidelined for at least a month in a double blow that will test the team’s depth up until the Super Rugby break in June.
Saili, 23, missed the 44-14 win over the Queensland Reds in Auckland on Friday with an injury suffered in training earlier in the week. Scans have revealed it is a high ankle sprain.
A Blues release says he is expected to be out for six to eight weeks, making him unavailable for the three home Tests against England.
Saili was an All Blacks squad regular last year and played two Tests, against Argentina and Japan.
Grenoble-bound centre Willison, 25, suffered a hamstring strain while scoring a try against the Reds and is expected to miss four to six weeks.
George Moala and Pita Ahki are options to link with in-form All Black Ma’a Nonu for the Blues’ next three games before Super Rugby takes a break during the international window.
In better news for the Blues, flyhalf Chris Noakes, flanker/captain Luke Braid and prop Sam Prattley are all fit for selection after shaking off injuries ahead of their game against the Chiefs in New Plymouth on Friday.