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New Zealand will have to win Rugby Championship without fly-half Dan Carter after he was ruled out for six weeks due to a shoulder injury he suffered in Saturday’s 29-15 win against South Africa.
The All Blacks were hit by the loss of Carter after just 15 minutes of their clash against closest rivals South Africa at Eden Park when he was caught by a crunching high challenge from hooker Bismarck du Plessis.
However, Du Plessis’ sending off after he received a second yellow for elbowing flanker Liam Messam in the 42nd minute helped the hosts come out on top to make it four victories out of four in the Rugby Championship.
The All Blacks also picked up a bonus point thanks to Sam Cane’s late try to ensure they take a four-point advantage at the top of the table ahead of the Springboks, who suffered their first defeat.
However the loss of Carter, who was making only his third start of the year after previously being sidelined by a broken hand followed by a thigh injury, will be a big blow as the All Blacks finish their championship fixtures with away trips to Argentina and South Africa.
Coach Steve Hansen also expects Carter to miss the third Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia in Dunedin on October 19, but hopes to have him back for the clash against France in Paris on November 9.