Concussion, babies complicate AB’s travel plans


All Blacks coach Ian Foster will need to wait until later in the week before he is fully aware of who will be on the plane to Sydney on Sunday for the Rugby Championship with a number of injuries to assess.

Prop Joe Moody, midfield back Peter Umaga-Jensen and lock Sam Whitelock are all going through concussion protocols, while Rieko Ioane is still dealing with a hamstring injury that forced him out of the second Bledisloe Cup test on Sunday.

The partners of three players are all also expected to give birth in the near future.

“The next couple of days we’ll get a final injury report, and we’ve just got to make sure we’re really clear how we’re tracking,” Foster told reporters in Auckland on Monday.

“We’ve also got a couple of babies due and we’ll get some more information about whether a few players might miss that first test and maybe join for the next one.”

The All Blacks beat the Wallabies 27-7 on Sunday and have been given the week off before they reassemble for the abridged Rugby Championship against Australia and Argentina.

Foster added that South Africa’s withdrawal from the Rugby Championship and a relaxation of COVID-19 travel restrictions between New Zealand and New South Wales meant he would probably not need to take an extended squad to Australia.

Southern hemisphere rugby’s governing body SANZAAR had allowed teams to name 46 players for the Championship, but Foster said his preference was to leave several in New Zealand to allow them to play the domestic provincial competition.

“The goal is to take almost as few as possible to Australia because were keen for players to stay back and play,” he said.

“The issue is if we take too many players over early, they’re kind of stuck over there because if you bring them back they’ve got to quarantine … for two weeks and they’re not going to be much use to (provincial) teams after that.”

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