15 Sep 2011

Injuries hit All Blacks

12:23 pm on 15 September 2011

The All Blacks have been hit with injuries to three key players with captain Richie McCaw and fullbacks Mils Muliaina and Israel Dagg all ruled out of tomorrow night's World Cup match against Japan in Hamilton.

McCaw, who was due to play his 100th Test against Japan, had suffered a minor calf strain in his left leg, Muliaina had a tight right hamstring and Dagg had a right abdominal strain.

All Blacks Doctor Deb Robinson says it's a bad day at the office as far as injuries are concerned but the good news is that all the injuries are not serious.

The All Blacks team to play Japan will now be captained by hooker Keven Mealamu.

The injuries have forced a reshuffle of the starting 15 and the reserves bench with Isaia Toeava now starting at fullback, Adam Thomson will shift to openside flanker and Victor Vito comes off the bench to start at number eight.

Lock Anthony Boric goes onto the bench to replace Vito.

Keven Mealamu will captain the side.