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Victor Vito will miss the remainder of the All Blacks series against Ireland because of a knee injury.
The athletic Wellington loose forward is to be sidelined for 3-5 weeks to recover from medial ligament damage suffered in the test defeat of the Irish at Eden Park on Saturday.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen today confirmed Adam Thomson would replace Vito in the starting lineup for the second test in Christchurch this Saturday, with uncapped Chiefs openside Sam Cane coming onto the reserve bench.
Another Chiefs loose forward, Liam Messam, would join the All Blacks squad as cover in Hamilton ahead of the third test there next week.
Vito left the test in Auckland sporting a cut to the face. However, Hansen said the 25-year-old - who was playing his 14th test - was also feeling the effects of the knee injury so stayed off the field after the cut was treated.
Vito's injury may impact on his availability for the Hurricanes when they resume their Super Rugby campaign against the Crusaders on June 30.
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- © Fairfax NZ News
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