Shannon Frizell has been called up to the All Blacks squad after Luke Jacobson was ruled out of the World Cup due to a serious head injury.
The 22-year-old Jacobson was a surprise inclusion in the New Zealand’s 31-man squad for the World Cup, having only made his Test debut against Argentina in June before winning his second cap in their warm-up match against Tonga last week.
Coach Steve Hansen said Jacobson had not presented with any signs of concussion after the Test against Tonga, but developed symptoms after the first training session in Japan this week. It was later confirmed by the team’s medical staff that the player was suffering a delayed onset concussion.
‘After discussing this latest episode with Luke, as well as our medical team, the decision has been made to, sadly, withdraw him from the tournament,’ Hansen explained.
‘We all felt that the best thing for him to do is to take a break from rugby until he is symptom-free and ready to return to rugby.’
‘While it was a tough conversation to have, ultimately it was a very simple decision. We have a duty of care to look after our players and Luke’s health is the most important thing above anything else.’
‘He’s young man with a hugely promising career ahead of him and I’m sure he’ll get the chance to play at other World Cups in the future.’
Frizell, who plays for the Highlanders in Super Rugby, made his international debut against France last June and since made five Test appearances for the All Blacks.
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