Injuries hit Tri-Nations rivals

New Zealand and South Africa have both suffered injury setbacks ahead of Saturday's Tri-Nations clash in Christchurch. [more]

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New Zealand and South Africa have both suffered injury setbacks ahead of Saturday’s Tri-Nations clash in Christchurch.

The hosts are without full-back Leon MacDonald as they seek to return to winning ways after their Bledisloe Cup defeat to Australia on June 30.

Meanwhile, the Springboks have lost tour captain Bobby Skinstad and veteran Johan Ackermann from their party.

Crusaders utility MacDonald sustained a groin muscle tear during the build up to the match in Melbourne, and may not return in time for the Tri-Nations finale against the Australians in Auckland.

The All Blacks have planned a reshuffle, with Doug Howlett brought in to the squad, while Wellington’s Conrad Smith is likely to fit in at centre and Mils Muliaina at number 15.

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South Africa have sent their two forwards home after injuries in the 25-17 loss in Sydney.

Skinstad suffered a broken rib, while lock Ackermann sustained a calf injury.

Western Province lock Gerrie Britz has joined the South Africans in Christchurch.

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