Lions tour: All Blacks fullback Ben Smith cleared of concussion symptoms

  • 06/07/2017
All Black full back Ben Smith
All Black full back Ben Smith Photo credit: Getty Images

Ben Smith's All Blacks career isn't at the crossroads after all.

Coach Steve Hansen was delighted to deliver a medical update for his team's vice captain which was positive, having been cleared of any concussion concerns.

Testing over the last week has revealed Smith suffers from a form of vertigo.

An inner ear problem left the world class fullback feeling dizzy at times, something which had been diagnosed in the past as concussion.

When the 31-year-old left the field early in the first Test against the British and Irish Lions two weeks ago, it was thought to be his third case of concussion for the year.

Hansen and Smith's teammate Israel Dagg spoke then about uncertainty surrounding the 63-Test veteran's future and whether he should consider putting his young family ahead of rugby.

It was a far happier coach on Thursday.

"He doesn't have a concussion problem," Hansen said.

"That's great news for Bender and (wife) Katie. It takes the weight off their shoulders knowing that what we'd deemed to be concussion two or three times this year was actually another problem.

"They've been able to identify and start to medicate and fix it, which is great news."

Smith joined the All Blacks team at training in Auckland on Thursday but hadn't been considered for Saturday's third Test at Eden Park.

NZN