Injury rules Matt Todd out for up to six months
Matt Todd's torn pectoral muscle has ruined any chance of him playing on the All Blacks' northern tour.
Canterbury openside flanker Todd, who suffered the injury against Wellington last weekend, had an operation yesterday and coach Scott Robertson has confirmed he could be out of action for up to six months.
Todd, who has twice been used as a substitute against France and South Africa by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen this season, had been on standby in case All Blacks captain Richie McCaw failed to recover from his knee injury ahead of next weekend's test against the Springboks in Johannesburg.
Although Hansen has made it clear Sam Cane is McCaw's deputy, Todd, who was one of the form No 7s of the Super Rugby season, may have been awarded his first starting jersey for the match against Japan in Tokyo on November 3.
Hansen has already indicated he will use that fixture to blood fresh players as he plans ahead towards the 2015 World Cup.
Todd, 25, must now look ahead to next year's commitments with the Crusaders.
With McCaw, who skipped his Crusaders duties this year because of his sabbatical, in the squad coach Todd Blackadder will not be too frantic about Todd missing the opening rounds.
Meanwhile, Robertson has made seven changes to the side that thumped Manawatu 72-7 at AMI Stadium last night for the next NPC game against Auckland on Saturday evening.
With Colin Slade (knee) and Tyler Bleyendaal (concussion) not considered, Richie Mo'unga again starts at first five-eighth.
Midfielder Ryan Crotty will earn his 50th cap for Canterbury.
Canterbury: Johnny McNicholl, Patrick Osborne, Adam Whitelock, Ryan Crotty, Miford Keresoma, Richie Mo'unga, Willi Heinz, Nasi Manu, George Whitelock (c), Luke Whitelock, Matt Symons, Joel Everson, Nepo Laulala, Ben Funnell, Joe Moody. Reserves: Corey Flynn, Paea Fa'anunu, Luke Katene, Jordan Taufua, Andy Ellis, Rob Thompson, Jamie Verran.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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