Crusaders’ Crotty suffered a rib cartilage injury, while Highlanders’ Smith was forced off for a concussion check and did not return during the Super Rugby clash in Christchurch.All Blacks coach Steve Hansen names his squad on June 8, with the Crusaders due to play the Lions in Christchurch next Saturday.Crusaders coach Scott Robertson cast a gloomy prognosis for Crotty shortly after the game.”He’s done a rib cartilage, so I think that Steve Hansen will be tucking into his notebook and thinking who’s next,” Robertson said.The former All Blacks loose forward later rowed back on his initial assessment and said the extent of the injury would not be known until at least Sunday but that Crotty would probably miss “a couple of weeks”.Crotty was the leading contender for one of the positions in the All Blacks’ midfield for the Lions series. The 28-year-old was likely to partner Sonny Bill Williams or Anton Leinert-Brown, depending on what kind of game Hansen wanted to play.Smith did not want to leave the field after he fell heavily in a tackle but was forced off by referee Glen Jackson and did not return to the game.It would mark his second concussion of the season and Highlanders coach Tony Brown said it was too early to determine if he would miss the Lions series, with the first test on June 24.”It’s hard to say at this stage. I haven’t caught up with him or the doctor,” Brown said. “But he was walking around after the game, so he should be all good.”Everyone wants to stay on the field in games like that. But, precautionary, he needs to go off and get checked and he didn’t pass.”The loss of Smith, arguably the world’s best fullback, would be a setback for the All Blacks but with Israel Dagg returning to action for the Crusaders as a second-half substitute on Saturday Hansen has another option at the position.Dagg, who is returning after knee surgery, could slot comfortably back into the number 15 jersey after spending time on the right wing last year. Photo: Photosport Ryan Crotty celebrates his try with team mates TJ Perenara and Ben Smith.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has given the biggest hint yet that Pope Francis could come to Ireland in the next two years. Ireland hasn’t had a papal visit since the late Pope John Paul II visited Ireland in 1979.However, Archbishop Martin has revealed that Pope Francis has admitted he ‘would love to come to Ireland’ and admitted he may visit our shores in 2018. “I am very hopeful that he will come,” Archbishop Martin told reporters on Saturday at the official launch of the World Meeting of Families, which the Irish Church will host in August 2018.Pope Francis personally chose Dublin as the venue for the 2018 event and the theme of the gathering is ‘The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World’.Last Friday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Archbishop Martin had informed him of the Irish bishops’ invitation to the Pope.In Brussels, Mr Kenny said if Francis accepted the invitation, he had assured Archbishop Martin that “the Government would respond appropriately, would welcome Pope Francis, and would make all the arrangements to treat him in a proper and respectful manner as befits his position as the head of the Catholic Church”. Papal visit to Ireland looks likely according to Archbishop was last modified: October 24th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)