8 Nov 2017

Luke Whitelock called into All Blacks for injured Kaino

6:44 am on 8 November 2017

The All Blacks have called up Highlanders loose forward Luke Whitelock to replace Jerome Kaino, who will play no further part on their month-long European tour because of a knee injury.

Hurricanes loose forward Luke Whitelock (L)

Highlanders loose forward Luke Whitelock. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Veteran loose-forward Kaino sustained a posterior cruciate ligament injury while playing against Whitelock for New Zealand in their 31-22 victory over the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday (NZ time).

Kaino had won a recall to the side after missing the Rugby Championship competition when he was dropped by coach Steve Hansen at the end of the drawn British and Irish Lions series.

The 81-times capped 34-year-old may not be the only All Blacks loose forward to miss Sunday's test against France in Paris, either.

Assistant coach Ian Foster confirmed first-choice blindside flanker Liam Squire was unwell with a virus after he missed training on Wednesday.

Foster said Squire's condition was not mumps-related, after uncapped utility back Jack Goodhue and star wing Rieko Ioane had both picked up the illness during the past fortnight.

The positive news for All Black fans was Ioane was looking a better prospect to play after he completed training with the rest of the squad.

Whitelock, 26, has a single All Blacks cap against Japan in Tokyo four years ago and joins a 43-man squad which includes his brother Sam.

New Zealand play France in Paris in their second match on tour on Sunday, then take on a French XV in Lyon next week before finishing the trip with tests against Scotland and Wales.

- Reuters, RNZ