2 Jul 2017

Fekitoa gets the call up

8:28 pm on 2 July 2017

Originally unwanted for the British and Irish Lions tour, Highlanders midfielder, Malakai Fekitoa, has been called in as the All Blacks midfield replacement for Sonny Bill Williams.

Malakai Fekitoa celebrates scoring a try against Italy.

Malakai Fekitoa Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Williams has been suspended for four weeks after he received a red card for a dangerous tackle in last night's 24-21 loss in the second test in Wellington.

Williams shoulder charged Lions winger, Anthony Watson, catching him flush in the face.

The 31-year-old became just the third All Black, and first in 50 years, to be red carded in a test match.

The All Blacks are already down a midfielder with Crusaders second five Ryan Crotty out injured with a hamstring strain he suffered in the first test last weekend.

Fekitoa meanwhile will join the All Blacks at the team's base in Auckland as they prepare for the series decider at Eden Park next Saturday.

The 25-year-old centre was originally left out of the 31-man All Black squad to face Lions when the team was named last month.

The All Black selection panel, which consists of Steve Hansen, Ian Foster and Grant Fox, opted for Williams, Crotty, Chiefs midfielder Anton Lienert Brown and Hurricanes league convert, Ngani Laumape, who made his All Black debut in Wellington.