New Zealand

Kiwis pay a price for whitewash

Sun, 24 Jun 2012 15:47
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It's definitely a leg that's going to need to be managed, and managed wisely
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New Zealand's Super Rugby franchises will pay a price for their national team's dominant form in the three-Test series against Ireland.

The All Blacks' record 60-0 whitewash of Ireland at the weekend has resulted in three more players being sidelined.

Of those who were involved in the 3-0 series victory over Ireland, at least seven have picked up injuries.

Fullback Israel Dagg has an ankle strain, wing Ben Smith has a haematoma in his thigh, and flyhalf Aaron Cruden strained an Achilles tendon.

All Black coach Steve Hansen says all three will need to be checked by medics to see if they can play at the weekend.

Cruden's injury is one he has struggled with all season, he added.

However, Cruden was replaced during the Test rout of Ireland, which meant it was not as bad as it could have been.

"It's definitely a leg that's going to need to be managed, and managed wisely," Hansen told NZ Newswire on Sunday.

Others who joined the 30-man squad for the series against Ireland three weeks ago, at least seven have picked up injuries.

Dan Carter is probably still a couple of weeks away from playing, while he recovers from a hamstring strain and Kieran Read has yet to have tests to assess his concussion.

Loose forward Victor Vito will miss this coming Saturday's Hurricanes match against the Crusaders as he recovers from a medial ligament strain, while Blues lock Ali Williams is on crutches for the next three weeks recovering from a knee surgery.

Hansen still wants to see if Williams can make the squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship, as he feels lock is a position in which the All Blacks lack depth.

"His experience with the three young men we've got is invaluable; just how to be an international lock day to day," Hansen told NZ Newswire

Wing Cory Jane, injured prior to team selection, is expected to return in three weeks, but utility Richard Kahui's season is over after hurting his shoulder for the Chiefs in May.

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