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All Black prop out for the season after injury

By Ben Smith
Photo: Martin Hunter/ www.photosport.nz

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The Crusaders and All Blacks have been dealt an injury blow with confirmation that prop Joe Moody will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

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The medical team at the Crusaders confirmed that the 33-year-old stalwart ruptured his ACL against the Blues in the 27-23 loss in Christchurch. He will have to undergo surgery to repair his knee and has been ruled out of any rugby action for the rest of 2022.

The loss of the 57-test veteran will have All Blacks head coach Ian Foster potentially looking for another loosehead prospect for his squad to take on Ireland in July, but due to the smaller squad size this year that might not be the case.

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Speaking on Sky Sport NZ’s The Breakdown this week, Foster highlighted the front row as a tightly contested group where big selection calls would have to be made.

“I’d also put the front row in that category as well. We were forced to take eight props with us last year, and so we won’t be taking eight props this year and so there will be some tough decisions,” he said.

As border restrictions made touring difficult with regards to calling in replacement players, an expanded squad was taken offshore with the All Blacks last year but Foster anticipated that would normalise this year with only 36 players selected.

“36 [players] for the first squad, that’s sort of a standard Steinlager Series-sized squad, but that can change,” he said.

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The loss of Moody will make the All Black selectors job in the front row a little bit easier with one less candidate to consider but the squad will suffer without the experience of Moody to call on as they prepare to take on an in-form Ireland side.

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