Tasman flanker Ethan Blackadder is going to join the All Blacks at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in place of injured Fiji-born Chiefs winger Emoni Narawa.
Narawa’s World Cup dream came to an end after he sustained a severe back injury during New Zealand’s training session in France.
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster confirmed that Blackadder will reinforce the loose forwards in the wake of Shannon Frizell’s long-term hamstring injury and Sam Cane’s back problem which kept the skipper out of the 27-13 defeat to France at the Stade de France on Saturday.
Foster told 1News that Blackladder’s addition will once again shine a light on Foster’s decision to go with a 18-15 forwards-backs split rather than a more logical 19-14 arrangement given Narawa, who has played one Test, was unlikely to be considered for the high-stakes matches in France.
New Zealand will take on Namibia in their next Pool A match on Saturday.