August 12, 2018 / 5:46 AM / 6 months ago

Rugby-All Blacks leave injured Sonny Bill, Milner-Skudder home

WELLINGTON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - The All Blacks have trimmed down their squad for the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship opener against Australia, leaving injured centre Sonny Bill Williams and outside back Nehe Milner-Skudder at home.

The All Blacks departed for Sydney on Sunday in preparation for Saturday’s match at Olympic Park, with hooker Dane Coles among the touring party despite a long lay-off from injury.

Ngani Laumape was called in as cover for Williams in the extended squad named last week.

Steve Hansen’s side are bidding to extend their hold over the Bledisloe Cup, the annual series contested with Australia, for a 16th year and claim a third successive Rugby Championship trophy. (Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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