WELLINGTON - A severe shoulder injury is likely to bring an abrupt end to the season for rising All Blacks utility back Jordie Barrett, the younger brother of fly-half Beauden.
The 20-year-old, who earned a start in the third Test against the British and Irish Lions last month, has not recovered from the injury suffered in the Wellington Hurricanes' Super Rugby semi-final against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg.
As Canterbury Crusaders fullback David Havili was rushed into the squad on Thursday, Barrett was to undergo further scans.
"If it's an operation it will knock him out for the rest of the year," All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said.
"While it's disappointing for him... it's been a massive year for him. He's done magnificently well in the Hurricanes environment. He's come in and had a couple of Test matches and started a pretty big one and has done himself proud."
Like Barrett, the 22-year-old Havili is comfortable at both fullback in the midfield.
"While he's a utility, he's stepped into that fullback role really well," Foster said.
"He's a reasonably experienced footballer now... he's played in a number of positions so he brings that to the table but he looks pretty settled at fullback. It's just nice to reward a player who has played his way in with form."
All Blacks vice captain and first choice fullback Ben Smith is scheduled to take a break from rugby following the first two matches in the Rugby Championship.
The All Blacks play their first match in the competition against Australia in Sydney on August 19.