New Zealand's upcoming Rugby Championship campaign has suffered another major blow after Hurricanes utility back Jordie Barrett has been ruled out of the remainder of the season.
The 20-year-old suffered a shoulder injury while representing his club in the semi-final of the recently concluded Super Rugby season against Lions.
New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster confirmed the news on Barrett and further added that a surgery might keep him on the sidelines for the remainder of the year.
"If it is an operation that is going to knock him out for the rest of the year," said Foster.
"While it's disappointing for him he's probably already had a big year and he's too young an athlete to play through something like this."
The former New Zealand Under 20 made his Hurricanes debut this year which earned him a call up to the New Zealand squad. His All Blacks debut came as a replacement in the Test against Samoa in June and was named in the starting XV in his just second game during the third and final Test against British and Irish Lions at Eden Park that ended in a draw.
Meanwhile, head coach Steve Hansen has called up Crusaders fullback David Havili to the squad as a replacement for Barrett. His departure along with the rest of his Crusaders' team-mates were delayed due to a fog at Christchurch Airport.
New Zealand will take on Australia in the Rugby Championship opener in Sydney on 19th August.