NZ Player Injury Updates


    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen expects Read to play 40 minutes for his home province, before making his Super Rugby return for the Crusaders when they host the Highlanders Friday week.

    "Then maybe 60 minutes the following week [against the Blues]. Then he will be into it if the Crusaders are still going," Hansen said on Sunday.

    There was also confirmation hooker Dane Coles (knee) should play a part in the second half of the Rugby Championship, which the All Blacks kickoff with a Bledisloe Cup clash against Australia in Sydney on August 18.

    Lock Brodie Retallick, loose forwards Vaea Fifita and Liam Squire, and prop Nepo Laulala, who fractured his forearm against the Blues in March, are all expected to be available when Hansen names his 33-man squad at the conclusion of Super Rugby.

    Chiefs prop Kane Hames, who hasn't played this year due to concussion symptoms, is back training but is unlikely to be ready, Hansen said.

    lanker Ardie Savea and midfielder Sonny Bill Williams might not play again in this year's competition, after leaving the field with ankle and shoulder injuries respectively.

    Savea picked up a high-ankle sprain early in the game and will miss up to a month, while Williams' grade two injury to his AC joint on his left-shoulder will keep him out for about three weeks, Hansen confirmed.

    How far the Hurricanes venture into the playoffs will determine if Savea fronts for the Hurricanes again this season, while the struggling Blues are set to complete their dismal season without Williams.

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