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All Blacks’ Blackadder and Papalii in doubt for Ireland series

admin | June 4, 2022

Ethan Blackadder looks set to miss New Zealand’s three-test series against Ireland next month due to a shoulder injury, while his fellow loose forward Dalton Papalii is in doubt after having his appendix removed. Blackadder left the field during the Canterbury Crusaders’ win over the Queensland Reds in the Super Rugby quarter-finals on Friday with his arm in a sling, and coach Scott Robertson does not expect him to play again this campaign. “He’s unlikely to be involved for the rest of the season for us, and hopefully it’s not an operation” that’s required, Robertson said. “He will definitely have scans. It was pretty sore, as you can see. He’s holding it up.” Blackadder has played nine times for the All Blacks and would have expected to be included in the squad when coach Ian Foster names his line-up for the series against Ireland, which starts on July 2nd. Papalii, meanwhile, was a late scratching from the Auckland Blues’ Super Rugby victory over the Otago Highlanders at Eden Park on Saturday. “After developing symptoms, he had an operation to remove his appendix on Friday,” the Blues said in a statement. “The procedure was uncomplicated and he is recovering well although it is too early to forecast when he will return to play.” Papalii captained the Blues to top spot in the Super Rugby regular season standings this season, prompting calls for the 24-year-old to be first choice at openside flanker for the All Blacks ahead of captain Sam Cane. Cane missed the Waikato Chief’s Super Rugby quarter-final victory over the New South Wales Waratahs on Saturday, his second week on the sidelines with a knee problem. New Zealand are due to face Ireland in Auckland in the first test on July 2nd before the teams meet again in Dunedin a week later. The final meeting will be played in Christchurch on July 16th.

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