Smith setback for Highlanders

The Hurricanes are waiting on the availability of Ben Smith after the New Zealand full-back was taken to hospital in Sydney.

The 28-year-old took on the Waratahs on Sunday despite struggling with a leg infection, however the efforts ultimately took their toll on Smith.

He is now set to remain in Sydney until Tuesday, with the Highlanders hoping he will be cleared to play the Crusaders in Saturday must-win clash.

"A decision on his availability for this weekend's clash against the Crusaders will be made later on in the week," the team said.

The New Zealand Conference is so tight that a bonus-point win could see the Highlanders leapfrog the Canterbury franchise and go top, while defeat could see them squeezed out.