23 Aug 2016

Outsiders given All Blacks chance

8:07 am on 23 August 2016

Several fringe players will get great opportunities to establish themselves in the team this year, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says.

Rieko Ioane scores a try in the All Black Sevens win over England in Wellington 2015.

Rieko Ioane scores a try in the All Black Sevens win over England in Wellington 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A spate of injuries means Rieko Ioane, Damian McKenzie, Seta Tamanivalu, Liam Coltman and James Parsons have all come into the side before Saturday's second Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup match against Australia.

Hansen said they will need to take whatever chances they are given.

"It's giving us an opportunity to see all these guys, we know a bit about James anyway because we've had him before. It's just a great opportunity in a year when we're trying to re-establish ourselves, to get some other faces involved in the group that in the long-term could possibly be here."

The All Blacks depth will be tested on Saturday night with five players brought into the squad as injury cover following last weekend's big win over the Wallabies in Sydney.

The All Blacks blitzed Australia 42-8 in Sydney on Saturday, but head knocks suffered by Ryan Crotty and Codie Taylor slightly overshadowed the win.

Returning to the squad is Ioane, who was a part of New Zealand's unsuccessful Olympic Sevens team in Rio, and Chiefs fullback McKenzie.

New All Black Damian McKenzie.

New All Black Damian McKenzie. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand's coach Steve Hansen said Ioane would bring versatility to the team.

"He's had a very good Super Rugby season and he's really someone that we see in the future that could have a long career.

"He's only 19 and has got the opportunity with the two guys who are injured - and they are really only short-term injuries, Hansen said.

Dane Coles would preferably not play the full 80 minutes, but Hansen said he was glad to see him recover so quickly from his rib cartilage injury.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen (R) is looking to Dane Coles (L) to provide leadership for younger players.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen (R) is looking to Dane Coles (L) to provide leadership for younger players. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

This year would provide several players with good opportunities to establish themselves in the team, he said.

Waisake Naholo also picked up a hamstring injury in the game, while Nathan Harris and George Moala suffered injuries in the buildup.

Harris is out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury.

Matt Todd will return to Canterbury before their next NPC game.

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