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Sport

All Blacks winger Bridge out with chest injury

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Quarter Final - New Zealand v Ireland - Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - October 19, 2019 New Zealand's George Bridge in action with Ireland's Keith Earls REUTERS/Matthew Childs/File Photo

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - All Blacks winger George Bridge will miss the second Bledisloe Cup test against Australia after suffering a chest injury that could sideline him for up to six months, the team said on Thursday.

Bridge suffered the injury while training on Wednesday.

“He’ll be assessed over the next 48 hours to determine the next course of action,” the team said on Twitter.

The 25-year-old started on the left wing in the first Bledisloe Cup game last weekend and was likely to have been named again for the second test.

Caleb Clarke produced an impressive cameo on debut off the bench in the 16-16 draw at Wellington Regional Stadium and could get his first test start with Bridge ruled out.

Rieko Ioane, who has played 25 of his 30 tests in the number 11 jersey, could also move to the wing after he started at centre in Wellington, allowing Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown to reunite in the midfield.

The All Blacks have spent the week dealing with injuries with experienced lock Sam Whitelock battling concussion symptoms and flyhalf Richie Mo’unga dealing with shoulder soreness.

Beauden Barrett was a late withdrawal from last week’s game due to an Achilles’ injury and assistant coach John Plumtree said he had played a minimal part in training on Wednesday.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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