Video: Will Sonny Bill's concussion open the door for other All Blacks contenders?

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There are troubling times ahead for All Blacks selectors as the list of injuries continues to grow, with the New Zealand side predicted to be without skipper Kieran Read and veteran loose forward Jerome Kaino come the first Test against the Lions in June.

Blues midfielder Sonny Bill Williams is just the latest All Black to have gone down over the weekend after suffering a concussion during his side's 40-33 win over the Waratahs on Saturday.

It is unknown how long the cross-code star will be sidelined for the Blues.

The midfield positions seems to be well covered for the All Blacks with Ryan Crotty, Anton Liernert-Brown, Malakai Fekitoa, Rieko Ioane all fit and capable to cover multiple positions in the back line.

There could be other options for selectors to choose from with rising star Jordie Barrett who has been playing at fullback for the Hurricanes, filling in for injured back Nehe Milner-Skudder.

The younger Barrett brother has set the early rounds of Super Rugby alight for the Hurricanes.
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Barrett's natural position is second five-eighth, but he can also play first-five and wing. Being a utility back could work in his favour as the All Blacks like to opt for players who can cover multiple positions.

Charlie Ngatai could be another conundrum for the All Blacks as he didn't skip a beat in his performance for the Chiefs against the Reds on Saturday, after he returned from a concussion injury.

He was the in-form midfielder in the 2016 Super Rugby season before a head knock ruled him out for 11 months.

But the real headache for the All Blacks will be looking to find a loose forward to possibly fill in the shoes for injured skipper Read, veteran Kaino and Highlanders enforcer Liam Squire.

Squire broke his thumb in his team's thrilling come from behind win over the Cheetahs on Saturday and can be out for up to six weeks.

Read underwent surgery last week after breaking his thumb in the Crusaders' win over the Cheetahs on April 30.

Kaino will be out for at least a month and is in serious doubt for the opening Test for the Lions after undergoing surgery on a knee injury.

Blues flanker Steven Luatua could be out of favour with the selectors after he announced in February that he will be moving to England at the end of the year to play for Bristol.

One player putting his hand up and has been playing exceptional rugby for his Super Rugby side is Hurricanes flanker Brad Shields.

Hurricanes' Brad Shields (R is tackled by Waratahs' Tolu Latu (Bottom) and  Sekope Kepu during the Hurricanes vs Waratahs Super Rugby match at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Friday the 7th of April 2017. Copyright Photo by Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz

Hurricanes' Brad Shields.

Source: Photosport

He was a menace on both attack and defence in his team's demolition of the Stormers over the weekend and has been in form so far this year for the Wellington Super Rugby franchise.

Shields is also a reliable option at line-out time.

Crusaders' forward Scott Barrett (older brother of Jordie) could be another viable option as he played blindside for his Super Rugby side against the Western Force in March.

Hard-nosed like his father Kevin Barrett who played for the Hurricanes, he proves to be a damaging ball runner, does his job in the breakdown and is an excellent option in the lineouts.

Dane Coles' calf and concussion injury has kept the star Hurricanes hooker out of rugby action since March.

Most likely to take his starting spot will be Crusaders' hooker Codie Taylor.

The timely return of Chiefs' hooker Nathan Harris from injury means he will most likely duke it out with Highlanders' workhorse Liam Coltman for a spot on the bench.

Coltman made his debut for the All Blacks last year against Italy on the Northern hemisphere tour.

The All Blacks' opening match against the Lions is on June 24 at Eden Park in Auckland.

The New Zealand selectors will be praying to the rugby gods that no key players will be added to the already stacked injury list.

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