Injured

Williams out with knee injury

Williams aggravated an old knee injury this week and Blues medical staff said an x-ray yesterday showed a loose piece of bone in his knee joint.

He will undergo keyhole surgery later today in Auckland.

Blues medical staff expect that the second five-eighth will be unable to train for approximately four weeks.

The 32-year-old was due to assemble with the All Blacks squad next week to prepare for the first test against France - an update of his involvement from All Blacks management will be given on Monday.

Liam Squire out for six weeks

The unbeaten Southerners will be without All Black loose forward Liam Squire for up to six weeks because of injury.

Squire broke the thumb in his right hand during last night's 25-17 over the Crusaders in Dunedin.

The injury occurred in the first half and Squire was replaced by Elliot Dixon just before halftime.

A Highlanders statement said Squire, who has played 15 tests, will be side-lined for up to 6 weeks.

That will result in him missing games against the Hurricanes, Chiefs, Brumbies, Blues and Bulls.

Vunipola suffers fractured arm

The back-row only returned from a three-month spell on the sidelines with a knee injury in the Premiership victory against Wasps last weekend and suffered another cruel setback at the Liberty Stadium.

Vunipola was replaced at half-time in the Champions Cup clash, which ended 15-15, and Saracens on Sunday revealed that an X-ray showed he had fractured his forearm, just three weeks before England start the defence of their Six Nations title against Italy in Rome.

Vunipola back in October

The barnstorming number eight missed the British and Irish Lions tour due to the injury, having returned from a four-month layoff due to a knee problem in March.

Sarries director of rugby Mark McCall confirmed the England international is not scheduled to return until October, although he did not rule out Vunipola playing before then.

"He's in great condition at the moment and chomping at the bit," McCall said.

"Billy's due back some time in October, but in true Billy style he'll make it back considerably before that. 

Bok captain out for 6 weeks

Eben Etzebeth will continue as the Springboks stand-in captain for the Rugby Championship.

The 26-year-old lock had already replaced Whiteley as skipper for the last of the three tests against France in June when the loose forward was ruled out of action with a groin injury.

Whiteley is not likely to be back before the end of September, which means Etzebeth could be captain for at least five of the six Springbok fixtures in this year's southern hemisphere championship, starting with the home clash against Argentina in Port Elizabeth on August 19th.

Whiteley out for up to eight weeks

The Lions number eight led the Springboks to victory over France in the first two Tests after being named as captain by Allister Coetzee last month.

Whiteley missed the win over Les Bleus in the third Test last Saturday, though, after doing damage during the warm-up at Ellis Park.

Coetzee revealed after his side sealed a whitewash over Guy Noves' men that his skipper would discover the extent of his injury on Monday and it was confirmed on Tuesday that he faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with damaged ligaments.

Crotty to miss Crusaders game against Lions

The 28-year-old Crotty, who was expected to be named in Steve Hansen's All Blacks squad for the three-test series on Thursday, suffered rib cartilage damage in the Crusaders' 25-22 win over the Highlanders on Saturday.

Initial assessments suggested he could be out for at least two weeks but the Crusaders' assistant coach Jason Ryan said they needed to check a scan before they could determine the extent of the injury.

"It will be a case-by-case thing," Ryan said. "Cartilages can be pretty niggly, especially when you are sneezing or coughing.

Asofa-Solomona ruled out of ANZAC Test

The uncapped 21-year-old suffered the injury in the Storm's NRL win over St George Illawarra on Sunday and he'll miss the Anzac Test against the Kangaroos in Canberra.

Wests Tigers lock Elijah Taylor, who has played 10 Tests, has been called up as a replacement to the 20-man New Zealand squad.

RNZI reports Asofa-Solomona was set to make his Test debut on the bench for the David Kidwell-coached Kiwis.