Another blow injury for All Blacks as Ofa Tu’ungafasi ruled out of South Africa tour

All Blacks prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi has joined the injured list ahead of the two-test tour of South Africa.

Coach Ian Foster said in a statement the 47-test prop would remain in New Zealand due to a neck injury when the squad travel on Friday to play two Rugby Championship tests against the Springboks on August 7 and 14 (NZT).

Ofa Tu'ungafasi, right, is out of the South African tour.

Phil Walter/Getty Images

Ofa Tu’ungafasi, right, is out of the South African tour.

Crusaders prop Fletcher Newell has been summoned as a replacement player for the South African tour.

Tu’ungafasi joins lock Brodie Retallick, midfielder Jack Goodhue and fellow prop Nepo Laulala as non-starters for the Springboks tests due to injury, the statement said.

Retallick suffered a broken cheekbone in a head clash with Ireland’s Andrew Porter in Wellington.

Already ruled out when the squad was named last week were prop Joe Moody, midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown, loose forward Ethan Blackadder and lock Josh Lord.

Fletcher Newell of Canterbury offloads the ball against Hawke's Bay.

Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Fletcher Newell of Canterbury offloads the ball against Hawke’s Bay.

Tu’ungafasi, 30, sustained a neck injury during the third test defeat to Ireland in Wellington, and will continue to work on his recovery with a goal of returning when the All Blacks meet Argentina in Christchurch next month.

Newell, 22, was rewarded for his performances in Super Rugby, as well as his strong showings for Canterbury at provincial level.

His Crusaders forwards coach, Jason Ryan, joined the All Blacks for the first time in Wellington on Monday and Tuesday after his callup in the wake of John Plumtree and Brad Mooar’s sackings following the 2-1 series defeat to Ireland.

‘I haven’t rung anyone as quick as that before’

Newell, who played his junior rugby at the Ashley club before attending Rangiora High School, missed a call from the All Blacks manager on a wet and dreamy day in Christchurch.

A text message was left, asking the big prop to call back.

“I haven’t rung anyone as quick as that before,” Newell said.

“It was pretty surreal when he gave me the news,” he said. “It’s just an awesome moment and I really can’t put any words together at the moment.”

Crusaders prop Fletcher Newell has been called into the All Blacks.

Peter Meecham/Getty Images

Crusaders prop Fletcher Newell has been called into the All Blacks.

An emotional phone call to his father, Arnold, followed.

“He was a bit lost for words, I think he misheard me at the start.

“He was really stoked for me, he just told me that he was really proud,” Newell said. “It was a really special moment between me and him.”

Newell will train with Canterbury on Wednesday before leaving for South Africa on Friday.

He said Ryan had been a significant contributor to his success and he was looking forward to learning more from him in the All Blacks environment.

All Blacks Rugby Championship squad for South Africa:-

Hookers: Dane Coles, Samisoni Taukeiaho, and Codie Taylor

Props: Aidan Ross, George Bower, Fletcher Newell, Ethan de Groot, Angus Ta’avao, Tyrel Lomax

Lock: Scott Barrett, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’i, Sam Whitelock, Josh Dickson

Loose forwards: Sam Cane (captain), Shannon Frizell, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea, Hoskins Sotutu

Halfbacks: Finlay Christie, Folau Fakatava, and Aaron Smith

First five eighths: Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga, Stephen Perofeta

Midfielders: David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Quinn Tupaea, Brayden Ennor

Outside backs: Jordie Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Will Jordan, Sevu Reece


Sunday, August 7, 3am (NZT) All Blacks v Springboks, Mbombela Stadium

Sunday, August 14, 3am (NZT) All Blacks v Springboks, Ellis Park, Johannesburg

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