To add to the injury to no.10 Dan Carter his under study Aaron Cruden and even his understudy Beauden Barrett have been ruled out of the weekend’s action after taking knocks last week. Cruden looks like he will take 2-6 weeks to recover and Barrett should be available for the next test on September 7th.
Lock Luke Romano will also miss the return fixture due to a groin injury. Having torn his right adductor tendon, the big lock forward looks set to be side-lined for the entire championship.
“It’s obviously hugely disappointing for Luke but he is a strong character and is already planning his rehab with our medical staff, We hopefully will have Beauden ready to prepare for the Argentina Test [in Hamilton on September 7], while Aaron will start his knee rehabilitation later this week – which will give us a better indication of when he will be back playing.” Coach Steve Hansen said.
Hansen confirmed that he has called up fly halves Collin Slade and Tom Taylor and forwards Luke Whitelock and Brad Shields ahead of the Wallabies test.
“It’s an exciting time for the replacement players Tom Taylor and Colin Slade and it’s also a challenge now for the rest of the team to make their entry into the side as seamless as possible,” Hansen said.