Super Rugby Pacific: All Blacks prop Fletcher Newell sidelined by injury for rest of season

All Blacks prop Fletcher Newell will miss the remainder of Super Rugby Pacific with a foot injury that threatens his selection for the Rugby World Cup in September/October.

Newell, 23, made his Crusaders debut in 2021 and earned a national-team call-up last year, after showing outstanding form for the Super Rugby champions.

He made his All Blacks debut in the 35-23 win over South Africa at Johannesburg - the performance that saved coach Ian Foster's job - and accumulated five more appearances over the course of the Rugby Championship, Bledisloe Cup and northern hemisphere tour.  

Newell started at tighthead in the Crusaders' season-opening loss to the Chiefs, but went down during the first half and was eventually subbed off early in the second.

He was later diagnosed with a plantar plate injury at the base of his big toe and underwent surgery that will sideline him for the rest of the season.

The news is not better for Crusaders lock Mitch Dunshea, who tore a pec muscle (chest) that required surgery and will also miss the campaign. No.8 Cullen Grace is out six weeks with a collar bone injury.

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