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All Black Ardie Savea to make World Cup history by wearing goggles in match

Ardie Savea in his protective goggles. Credit: TV3

New Zealand flanker Ardie Savea will bring a new look to the Rugby World Cup in the All Blacks' clash with Canada on Wednesday.

Savea will don goggles to aid his deteriorating sight in his left eye following consultation with the team doctor, becoming the first player to wear the World Rugby-approved eyewear in the sport's showcase tournament.

The Wellington player has been issued with the eyewear and has spent the week testing them in training to ensure they are not a hindrance.

"I told the All Blacks doc that it was slowly getting worse and now we're doing something about it," Savea explained.

"I can't see in my left eye ... well I can, but everything is kind of blurry."

The goggles have been tested to guarantee the Savea of the opposition, ensuring cannot not damage anyone in the tackle.

“It is purely for protection,” said New Zealand coach, Ian Foster. “When a player says that the problem in his eye is getting worse, you have to do something. He has been dealing with it for a few years and our medical team came up with this idea.”

Savea will not be the first player to wear the goggles in international rugby, following in the footsteps of Italy's Ian McKinley who used a pair during the Six Nations.

"In terms of vision and seeing it's pretty sweet, it's just getting used to them," Savea said.