Ben Smith Rugby World Cup 2019: New Zealand’s Ardie Savea to make history as first player to wear goggles

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New Zealand flanker Ardie Savea will make history against Canada on Wednesday when he becomes the first player in Rugby World Cup history to wear goggles during a match.

Savea recently learned that his vision in his left eye was deteriorating to the point that he says everything he sees is “blurry”, and fears over his eyesight in his right eye has triggered the decision to wear protective goggles from this point onwards.

Should Savea come off the bench against Canada, he will become the first player to wear goggles in a World Cup match – although Italy’s Ian McKinley became the first professional player to wear them in a match in 2017.

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“A couple of years ago I realised I had bad vision in my left eye. Everything is kind of blurry,” Savea said in a statement released by the All Blacks.

“I told All Blacks doctor Tony Page that it was getting worse, and now we are doing something about it.

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

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