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Smith set for long spell out

Wales prop Nicky Smith faces up to four months on the sidelines because of injury.

Smith's regional team Ospreys have confirmed that he will require surgery after suffering what they described as "a significant pectoral tear" during last Saturday's clash between Wales and New Zealand in Cardiff.

Smith, 20, went on as a late substitute during Wales' 34-16 defeat, before the injury forced him off. It was his second Test match appearance.

"Nicky suffered a significant pectoral tear playing for Wales against New Zealand on Saturday," Ospreys medical performance manager Chris Towers said.

"He has had scans and been reviewed by specialists and, following discussions, the decision is that the best course of treatment is for him to undergo surgery to repair the damage.

"He is looking at up to four months' recovery, post-operation."

Smith was formally released from the Wales squad earlier this week, and Scarlets prop Rob Evans has been training with the group ahead of this weekend's game against South Africa.

Smith's fellow Wales and Ospreys prop Ryan Bevington, meanwhile, has suffered a setback in his recovery from groin surgery.

"Having consulted with specialists again, the decision has been made that he requires further surgery that will take place later this week," Towers added.

"If it goes well, then he will need another couple of months following surgery before he will be able to resume playing."

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