Smith ruled out of Lions series

New Zealand full-back Ben Smith has been ruled out of the two remaining Tests against the British and Irish Lions due to concussion.

Smith was forced off the field in New Zealand's 30-15 win over the Lions in the first Test in Auckland at the weekend and All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen confirmed that the 31-year-old would not be considered for the third Test. 

It had been decided not to risk him and to allow him to recover. 

"Long-term concerns have been allayed but we're just going to take our time with him and get him back to where we need him to be, so he's comfortable, we're comfortable," said Hansen. 

"It's too important for him and us in the game to chuck him back out. It's just not worth it."

With Smith ruled out, the world champions have reshuffled their back-line for the second Test against the Lions in Wellington on Saturday with Israel Dagg moving to full-back from right wing and Waisake Naholo coming into the starting line-up to wear the number 14 jersey.

Dagg said he understood Smith's decision to withdraw from the remaining Tests in the series.

"I said to him you've only got one brain," Dagg told reporters.

"We all have only one brain.
 
"It is pretty simple at the end of the day, we have got to make good decisions. Obviously, it's a big test, a big series, the All Blacks, but at the end of the day he's got two little kids, a beautiful wife and you've just got to make those decisions.

"The whole team is behind him.

"It's only rugby at the end of the day. We have got a life after footy that we have to worry about. For him, he's a few head knocks this year, so at the end of the day he's made the right decision.

"I know he's at home and he wants to be here. He sent me a text message before, I'm still connecting with him he's still a big part of this team, got a lot of respect for him, so he's helping us… he's sending a few messages back for the group from the outside, so he's still part of this group."

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