All Blacks forced into late changes for end-of-year tour : PlanetRugby

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has announced a host of changes to his roster as they tour the Northern Hemisphere for their upcoming Autumn Nations Series internationals.

A family loss meant the Barrett brothers – Beauden, Scott and Jordie – were not with the All Blacks squad when they left Auckland on Saturday. The trio are expected to join the squad ahead of next week’s tour opener against Japan in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, second-row veteran Sam Whitelock and defender Will Jordan have been forced to stay home due to inner ear problems and both players will join the touring party as soon as they are cleared to travel.

Good news about Sam Whitelock

In the remainder of the All Blacks’ end-of-year testing schedule, they head to the United Kingdom, where they face Wales, Scotland and England. Foster revealed that Whitelock made a good recovery and would fight for a spot in the starting lineup against the Welsh in Cardiff on November 5 in Cardiff. Jordan’s condition, however, is less certain.

Also Read :  International tourism back to 60% of pre-pandemic levels in January-July 2022

Another player unable to tour is young scrum half Folau Fakatava, who suffered an ACL injury during a personal training session on Thursday.

Foster revealed that the injury needed further assessment to determine if it would recover naturally or if surgery would be needed.

“It’s devastating. He worked hard, he was excited about the tour and this next match [against Japan] was a big opportunity for him,” he told the All Blacks official website.

Hooker Dane Coles also has a niggling injury that is progressing well, but Asafo Aumua has been added to the roster as a precaution.

Also Read :  Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Oct. 12: ‘We’re Concerned’ About Another Wave Says WHO, China to Continue With Tough Policies

Patrick Tuipulotu and Brad Weber were added to the squad as cover for Whitelock. Weber will be with the All Blacks for the game against Japan. After that match, a re-evaluation will be made and it is possible that TJ Perenara will be added to the roster afterwards.

Perenara did not qualify for Japan as he played for Wellington on Saturday in their Bunnings NPC final win over Canterbury in Christchurch.

Damian McKenzie has also been added as a backline cover for Beauden and Jordie Barrett.

The players called up were all named in Leon MacDonald’s All Blacks XV roster, who will face Ireland A and the Barbarians next month. They are expected to join the All Blacks XV when the Barretts and Whitelock return to the side.

Also Read :  Blinken to begin Latin American tour on Monday in Colombia

Foster believes the final footage won’t be too disruptive to his tour plans and said it was more of an adjustment.

Wary of Japan

Japan will be well prepared for their Test against the All Blacks – after playing three games against Australia A.

“They have some great scalps under them, they have a proven program and part of the rumor is that they are extremely confident in the game,” Foster added. “It changes the mentality, so for us it’s a tour of four exhibition games.”

READ MORE: Wales: Wayne Pivac wary of ‘dangerous animal’ New Zealand


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.