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All Blacks Savea to wear protective goggles

All Blacks Savea to wear protective goggles
Rugby Union - Rugby Championship - Argentina v New Zealand - Jose Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina - September 29, 2018 - New Zealand's Ardie Savea and Argentina's Agustin Creevy in action. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci -
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By Greg Stutchbury

OITA, Japan (Reuters) – All Blacks flanker Ardie Savea will be donning an extra piece of equipment when his side play their World Cup Pool B match against Canada on Wednesday, protective goggles.

The decision to wear the goggles came after the 25-year-old noticed deterioration in the vision of his left eye two years ago and he went to All Blacks doctor Tony Page about the issue.

“Everything’s kind of blurry,” Savea said in a statement on Tuesday. “I told … Tony … that it was getting worse and now we’re doing something about it. 

“Doc notified me that World Rugby had some goggles that were approved and everyone has been really supportive.

“In terms of vision and seeing, it’s pretty sweet, and it’s now just a matter of getting used to them.”

World Rugby approved the use of protective goggles in May this year.

Italy flyhalf Ian McKinley wore protective goggles after he went blind in one eye in 2011.

He initially retired from rugby but took up the game again in 2014, while playing for a lower level club in Italy before he moved up the ranks and was eventually called into the Italian national squad by Conor O’Shea.

McKinley has played nine tests for Italy since his debut in 2017, including against his native country Ireland in August, but did not make the World Cup squad.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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