All Blacks call in Todd, Hames
Wellington: Matt Todd and Kane Hames have been included as injury cover in the All Blacks squad for the opening Bledisloe Cup test in Sydney. Openside flanker Todd makes the trip as Sam Cane’s recovery from concussion continues to be monitored while Hames provides back up for Joe Moody’s neck injury that’s sidelined him since early July. If Cane is ruled out, Hurricanes tyro Ardie Savea will be expected to start with Todd offering cover from the bench.
With only 32 players travelling to Sydney, lock Luke Romano and loose forward Elliot Dixon have been left out of the travelling team, meaning Patrick Tuipulotu is likely to start from the bench. Romano is available to play for Canterbury in the opening round of the Mitre 10 Cup. Damian McKenzie, who has also been assembled with the All Blacks in camp, will also return to Waikato. Dane Coles is the other injury concern for the All Blacks this week; the Hurricanes captain is no guarantee to feature after battling rib cartilage damage.
All Blacks squad for Sydney: Forwards: Dane Coles, Nathan Harris, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Owen Franks, Kane Hames, Joe Moody, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Samuel Whitelock, Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Kieran Read, Ardie Savea, Liam Squire and Matt Todd. Backs: Tawera Kerr-Barlow, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Cruden, Lima Sopoaga, Ryan Crotty, Malakai Fekitoa, Anton Lienert-Brown, George Moala, Israel Dagg, Waisake Naholo, Julian Savea and Ben Smith. - Stuff