WELLINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - All Blacks loose forward Liam Squire has been ruled out of the remainder of the Rugby Championship after suffering a hand injury in Saturday’s 36-34 loss to South Africa.
The blindside flanker looked as if he had hurt his shoulder in the first half at Wellington Regional Stadium but played on until he was replaced by Patrick Tuipulotu just before the hour.
On Sunday, however, the All Blacks said a hand injury would keep the 27-year-old out of their clashes with Argentina in Buenos Aires on Sept. 26 and with South Africa in Pretoria on Oct. 6.
Squire joins Joe Moody (thumb) on the sidelines for the rest of the southern hemisphere competition, while it is still uncertain whether lock Brodie Retallick will return after he suffered a shoulder injury against the Pumas last week.
Lock Scott Barrett switched to the side of the scrum when Tuipulotu came on and Squire’s absence highlighted the All Blacks’ lack of experienced backup at the position.
Shannon Frizell (two tests) is likely to come into the starting side while Jackson Hemopo (one), who has mostly played lock at Super Rugby level, has been earmarked as a test-level blindside flanker by coach Steve Hansen.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford