Barrett's season curtailed by shoulder injury

Jordie Barrett has been replaced by David Havili in New Zealand's Rugby Championship squad after suffering a shoulder injury that could end his breakthrough season.

Barrett scored seven tries for Super Rugby semi-finalists Hurricanes in 2017, while he pulled off a competition-leading 33 offloads - earning selection for the All Blacks' series against the British and Irish Lions.

The 20-year-old scored a try on his first Test start in the final fixture as a thrilling series ended in a 1-1 draw.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster hailed the youngster's introduction to life at the highest level, and has backed him to return stronger from an injury that could see him sidelined for six months.

"If it is an operation, that is going to knock him out for the rest of the year," Foster told a news conference.

"While it's disappointing for him, he's probably already had a big year and he's too young an athlete to play through something like this.

"It's a chance for him to get that right and have a big pre-season and jump back into it next year.

"It's pretty frustrating for him, he's had an amazing six months.

"Clearly when he reflects on the year it has been a massive year for him. He's done magnificently well in the Hurricanes' environment and come in and had a couple of Test matches and started a pretty big one and has done himself proud."

Havili managed a try more than Barrett in Super Rugby, helping Crusaders go all the way to secure their first title in nine years.

"He's a player who's really grown in the last few years and this year, whilst he's a utility, he stepped into that full-back role really well and we think he's done a great job of it and [we're] really interested in the skill set that he brings," Foster said.

"He's a reasonably experienced footballer now and clearly he'll have some things to offer but like I said, he's played in a number of positions so he brings that to the table."

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