New Zealand
Vito and Bird head home with injury
ESPN Staff
November 17, 2014
Victor Vito powers over to score against Scotland at Murrayfield © Getty Images

Forwards Victor Vito and Dominic Bird have returned home from the All Blacks tour of Europe. Vito picked up a calf injury during Saturday's tight 24-16 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield. In other news, centre Conrad Smith rejoins the squad ahead of this weekend's clash with Wales in Cardiff after attending to a personal matter at home.

Vito scored a fine first-half try against Scotland, sprinting 40 metres and holding off challenges from various defenders, but had to be replaced by Liam Messam shortly before half-time. Head coach Steve Hansen lamented Vito's bad fortune and said a big year lay ahead for the No.8 if he was to secure a World Cup berth.

"He's pretty disappointed to be fair. He's waited a long time to get that opportunity," said Hansen. "He was building into the game quite nicely and his ball carrying was good. Super Rugby's going to be important for him."

Bird was only called into the squad last week as cover for fellow locks Brodie Retallick and Patrick Tuipulotu and started against Scotland. With Retallick and Tuipolotu now fit for action Bird, who had stayed in England after representing the Barbarians against Australia, will return home.

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