28 Jul 2008

Halfback replacement likely for All Blacks

9:03 am on 28 July 2008

Piri Weepu looks set for an All Black recall following a double injury blow at halfback from Saturday night's 34-19 loss to Australia on Saturday.

Andrew Ellis has sore ribs and Jimmy Cowan a broken nose and a strained knee.

Wellington No.9 Piri Weepu will train with the team this week and could even start in Auckland.

No official replacement halfback has been announced yet, but it's possible two will be needed for the return Tri-Nations match against Australia at Eden Park this weekend.

Assistant coach Steve Hansen says at least one is likely ahead of the return Tri-Nations match against Australia at Eden Park this weekend.

Hansen says a number of other players are sore after a tough match with hooker Andrew Hore perhaps the worst with a sore hip.

Meanwhile Hansen says captain Richie McCaw is in a similar situation to last week regarding his ankle injury.

The coaching staff will monitor McCaw throughout the week but it's hoped he will recover enough to lead the All Blacks again on Saturday.

Meanwhile the Wallabies will be without their loose forward Rocky Elsom because of a foot injury which he took into Saturday night's match.

Elsom still scored a try in the second half.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says Elsom will be reassessed before the Wallabies travel to South Africa for their match in Durban.