Blues lock Ali Williams has become the latest high profile All Black to join the casualty ward after injuring his knee during Saturday night’s Test match against Ireland in Christchurch.
Williams is to undergo knee surgery and will be out of rugby for at least eight weeks, effectively ending his campaign with the Blues.
He joins fellow World Cup Winning All Blacks Jerome Kaino, Keven Mealamu, Isaia Toeava and Anthony Boric on the sidelines, with Brad Mika, Benson Stanley, Charlie Faumuina, Gareth Anscombe and George Moala also out for the rest of the season.
With lock Filo Paulo suspended for five weeks, the Blues will be forced to bring in another player to provide cover for their last two games.
All Blacks Doctor Deb Robinson said: “Ali developed a sore right knee over the last couple of weeks and a scan has revealed that he has a flap of loose articular cartilage which will require surgery. He will see a surgeon this week in Auckland.”
The injury is in the same knee which Williams had an operation on in the off-season but Dr Robinson said it was a new injury.
“It’s obviously disappointing for Ali to have this new injury but he is expected to make a full recovery. Once he has had the surgery, we will have a clearer idea of how long he will be out of rugby but it he is expected to be out for a minimum of eight weeks.”