October 1, 2017 / 4:57 AM / 19 days ago

Rugby-Retallick to miss final test after family tragedy

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 1 (Reuters) - All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick will miss the final Rugby Championship clash against South Africa next week after his wife Niki suffered a pregnancy loss, the team said on Sunday.

Retallick was one of six players who did not travel to Buenos Aires for the clash with Argentina, which they won 36-10, and were scheduled to go directly to South Africa.

The other players -- Sam Cane, Sam Whitelock, Liam Squire, Lima Sopoaga and Ryan Crotty -- had all arrived in South Africa, while Retallick remained in New Zealand.

“Brodie and his wife Niki have lost their baby boy prematurely, which is incredibly sad news,” coach Steve Hansen said in a statement on the team’s Facebook page.

”As a result, Brodie will stay home with Niki and rejoin the team when the time is right.

“We’re really feeling for them at this sad time and our thoughts are with them and their families.”

Hansen added that Vaea Fifita, Ngani Laumape, Waisake Naholo, Luke Romano and Ardie Savea would return home from Argentina.

The All Blacks had already wrapped up the Rugby Championship before their win over the Pumas after South Africa and Australia drew 27-27 earlier in Bloemfontein.

The world champions have 24 points with one round of matches remaining, ahead of the Springboks on 13 and Wallabies on 10. The Pumas have no points after five games. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by John O‘Brien)

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