Ben Smith not concussed, has ear problem

Ben Smith (Getty)
Ben Smith (Getty)

Cape Town - All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has confirmed that injured fullback Ben Smith has been cleared of concussion - and is instead suffering from an ear problem.

The news comes as a relief to all those in the All Blacks set-up as it was feared Smith had suffered his third concussion of the season.

But Smith rejoined the team on Thursday following the positive news that he hadn't suffered concussion during the first Test against the British and Irish Lions and instead has a slight ear problem.

"He doesn't have a concussion problem, he wasn't knocked out," Hansen told the All Blacks' official website

"What he does have is an inner ear malfunction which is causing him to get a bit of vertigo and dizziness. That's now cleared and that's great news for him and Katy.

"It takes a weight off their shoulders knowing that what we've deemed to think was concussion two or three times this year was actually another problem which they've now been able to identify and start to medicate him and fix which is great news."

Meanwhile, according to the All Blacks' official website, Hansen said that the medical staff were taking the safe option with Waisake Naholo who suffered concussion in the second Test and whom they feel needed another week out for the sake of his recovery.

And the reason for Rieko Ioane's omission is that the young speedster has been ill all week and unable to take part in training.

Teams:

All Blacks

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Malakai Fekitoa

British and Irish Lions

15 Liam Williams (Scarlets/WAL), 14 Anthony Watson (Bath/ENG), 13 Jonathan Davies (Scarlets/WAL), 12 Owen Farrell (Saracens/ENG), 11 Elliot Daly (Wasps/ENG), 10 Johnny Sexton (Leinster/IRL), 9 Conor Murray (Munster/IRL), 8 Taulupe Faletau (Bath/ENG), 7 Sean O'Brien (Leinster/IRL), 6 Sam Warburton (captain, Cardiff/WAL), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys/WAL), 4 Maro Itoje (Saracens/ENG), 3 Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/IRL), 2 Jamie George (Saracens/ENG), 1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens/ ENG)

Substitutes: 16 Ken Owens (Scarlets/WAL), 17 Jack McGrath (Leinster/IRL), 18 Kyle Sinckler(Harlequins/ENG), 19 Courtney Lawes (Northampton/ENG), 20 CJ Stander (Munster/IRL), 21 Rhys Webb (Ospreys/WAL), 22 Ben Te'o (Worcester/ENG), 23 Jack Nowell (Exeter/ENG)
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