Ioane, McKenzie answer All Black SOS

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 07:40

INJURY UPDATE: New Zealand rushed five players into their squad as injury cover on Monday, ahead of the second Rugby Championship Test against Australia in Wellington.

These include teenage Olympian Rieko Ioane and talented back Damian McKenzie.

Last weekend's 42-8 thrashing of the Wallabies in the opening match of the championship came at a price with two hookers, two centres and a wing sidelined.

Midfielder Seta Tamanivalu and hookers James Parsons and Liam Coltman have also been brought into the camp.

Speedster Ioane, 19, a member of the All Blacks' Sevens team at the Rio Olympics, has been added to the squad ahead of the return match this coming Saturday for his ability to play multiple backline positions.

Coach Steve Hansen predicted a big future for Ioane, who can play both centre and wing, and who had a standout year with the Blues in Super Rugby as well as shining on the Sevens circuit.

"He had a very good Super Rugby season and he's someone that we see having a big career," Hansen said.

"He's 19 but he's been to the Olympics. He's been on the Sevens stage. He's done a lot of worldly things. But this environment I'm sure will really test him so we'll just have to monitor that and see how he copes with it."

Centre George Moala and hooker Nathan Harris were injured before the Test in Sydney, while hooker Codie Taylor (head knock), centre Ryan Crotty (head knock) and wing Waisake Naholo (hamstring) left the field during the Sydney match.

Hansen said Harris was out for the season with a knee injury.

Agence France-Presse

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