All Blacks fullback Ben Smith has been ruled out of the Highlanders' trip to South Africa after suffering a minor ankle sprain last night against the Stormers.

Smith isn't travelling to the Republic, meaning he will miss the Highlanders' Super Rugby games against the Cheetahs and Bulls.

Smith, who has played 2382 minutes of rugby since the start of 2016, is currently in a moon boot, but it's expected he'll join up with the squad in Perth for their match against the Western Force next month.

The 60-test All Black reportedly sufferred the injury early in the Highlanders 57-14 win over the Stormers, but managed to finish the game before the injury was diagnosed.

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The latest injury continues a disjointed Super Rugby season for Smith, who spent time on the sidelines earlier in the campaign due to conussion.

All Blacks loose forward Elliot Dixon is travelling to South Africa, after missing the Highlanders' last two matches with an infected knee.