Garces pulls out of Bledisloe

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

There'll be no reunion between Sonny Bill Williams and Jerome Garces this weekend, with injury forcing a Bledisloe referee change up.

Garces suffered a calf injury refereeing a France preseason match between Racing 92 and Bayonne last weekend, having to be replaced mid-match, with one of Racing's players stepping up as touch judge briefly.

The French referee will be replaced as chief whistle blower by England's Wayne Barnes, with Nigel Owens coming in as an assistant.

Garces was the referee who red-carded Williams in the second British and Irish Lions Test, with the All Blacks centre set to play his first full-blown match since suspension in this weekend's Bledisloe. 

Owens will take the lead in the second Bledisloe in Dunedin, with Barnes an assistant.