Rugby: Lock Tuipulotu out of All Blacks' French series

Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu is in doubt for the All Blacks' June test series against France, after succumbing to a long-standing shoulder problem.

The 25-year-old has been nursing the injury for several weeks, almost scratching him from the Waratahs win during warm-ups, then further aggravating it against the Hurricanes on Friday.

The Blues suspect they'll be without him until at least July, but the exact prognosis is subject to further medical examination this week. His arm was in a sling at Blues training on Tuesday.

The 16-test international was likely on the cusp of selection already, although his form had been steadily progressing over recent weeks.

The struggling Blues will now look to Gerard Cowley-Tuioti and Ben Nee-Nee to start when they take on the surging Crusaders on Saturday.

The All Blacks squad for the three-test series will be announced on Sunday.