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REFILE-Rugby-Uncapped Ioane among quintet called into All Blacks squad
August 22, 2016 / 2:31 AM / a year ago

REFILE-Rugby-Uncapped Ioane among quintet called into All Blacks squad

(refiles to fix typo in first para)

WELLINGTON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Uncapped winger Rieko Ioane is among five players called into the All Blacks squad for their Rugby Championship clash with Australia on Saturday, after a raft of injuries hit the team in their first clash in Sydney.

The 19-year-old Ioane, who All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has earmarked as a potential centre, has just returned from the Rio Olympics, where he was part of New Zealand’s rugby sevens team.

Utility back Damian McKenzie and centre Seta Tamanivalu, both of whom were in the squad for the June series against Wales but not included for the Rugby Championship, have also been called into the team on Monday.

McKenzie did not play in June, while Tamanivalu made two appearances off the bench.

Hookers Liam Coltman, uncapped, and James Parsons, who was called in as a replacement on the end of season tour in 2014, have also been summoned to Wellington after Nathan Harris (knee) and Codie Taylor (concussion) were injured in Sydney.

The loss of both hookers last week meant Hansen was forced to field first choice Dane Coles, despite the Wellington Hurricanes hooker suffering pain from a rib cartilage injury.

Coles ended up playing for more than 75 minutes in the 42-8 victory in Sydney, with Taylor being replaced after a head knock in the opening minutes of the game.

Centres George Moala (knee) and Ryan Crotty (head) and winger Waisake Naholo (hamstring) were also ruled out of the game at Wellington Regional Stadium.

The Wallabies also have injury concerns after inside centre Matt Giteau suffered two fractures in his left leg in Sydney, while Rob Horne is likely to need a shoulder reconstruction.

Matt Toomua, who had replaced Giteau, also suffered a head knock in Sydney and was then replaced by Horne before he left the field. All three injuries occurred in the first half.

Australia’s replacement scrumhalf Nick Phipps ended up on the wing and scored a consolation try after the All Blacks had put the game beyond doubt by halftime with a 32-3 lead.

The All Blacks can retain the Bledisloe Cup, the symbol of trans-Tasman supremacy, with a draw on Saturday. They have held the trophy since 2003. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by John O‘Brien)

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