SYDNEY (AP) — New Zealand center George Moala has been ruled out of Saturday's Rugby Championship test against Australia after suffering a knee injury in training.
Moala's injury further limits New Zealand's midfield options after likely starter Sonny Bill Williams ruptured an Achilles tendon playing for the sevens team at the Rio Olympics.
Ryan Crotty and Malakai Fekitoa are likely to combine in midfield while uncapped 21-year-old Anton Lienert-Brown, who joined the squad in place of Williams, may move into a bench role.
The All Blacks have been experimenting with midfield selections this season, after the retirement of veterans Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith at the end of the 2015 World Cup. Moala had staked a strong claim to a start at outside center after playing well against Wales in June.