All Blacks centre Conrad Smith has a broken thumb and will miss Saturday’s third test against England. Who are the best options to replace the All Blacks anchorman in the midfield? Ryan Crotty is a reliable midfield back who has played five tests from the bench and has been in solid form for the Crusaders in Super Rugby. The other option is Malakai Fekitoa who is only 22 years old and has set alight Super Rugby 2014 for the Highlanders.
Crotty is proven at test match level after five appearances and would be the safe option, while Fekitoa has come off the bench for the All Blacks once. This pair would actually complement each other nicely with the reliable Crotty and the explosive Fekitoa making a potential future All Blacks midfield combination.
Ma’a Nonu played well in the second test match and so it would be great to see either Crotty or Fekitoa given an opportunity. Crotty could start with Fekitoa being given time off the bench, although since New Zealand has already won the series, is there any need to worry about risking the inexperienced Fekitoa who is in his first full season of Super Rugby?
Who do you think should start against England in the third test, Crotty or Fekitoa?