Retallick out of Irish test

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 12:35
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INJURY UPDATE: The All Blacks will be without star lock Brodie Retallick for their first of two clashes against Ireland in Chicago on November 5.

Retallick is out with concussion and joins lock partner Samuel Whitelock on the sidelines.

Whitelock is out with an ankle sprain. A decision will be made later as to when he and Retallick will be able to travel.

The injuries open the door for Patrick Tuipulotu and Luke Romano to get a start, while Hurricanes lock Vaea Fifita has been called in as a replacement, joining uncapped Crusaders lock Scott Barrett in the squad.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen also confirmed that scrumhalf Aaron Smith will make a return to the matchday squad after his toilet incident at a Christchurch airport.

"I'd say so, yeah," Hansen told stuff.co.nz.

"He's [Smith] the best halfback in the world."

Flyhalf Beauden Barrett has an ear infection, which he picked up in South Africa. However, the All Blacks coaching team are confident that he will be okay to face Ireland.

Meanwhile, Hansen said his team won't be distracted by life in a non-rugby city like Chicago when they arrive in the United States.

"We've always been a team that has been able to travel well and play and win away from home so we don't need the security of a home venue to play well," Hansen told allblacks.com.

"I think that's a reflection of how hard we work on our preparation and this week will be no different." 

Hansen said the different conditions in the Northern Hemisphere will also play a part in their preparations for the Irish.

"They're more physical, their game up there is based on a set piece to set piece to set piece and it's not so fluent. We'll get a good look at that on a neutral ground in Chicago against Ireland.

"They'll come at us with everything they've got I'm sure and bring a lot of line speed and try and really out-physical us I imagine and it will be a good experience for us to be able to have to cope with it," he said.

Sources: allblacks.com & stuff.co.nz