7 Jun 2010

All Blacks still have injury concerns

9:11 am on 7 June 2010

Fullback Mils Muliaina, lock Tom Donnelly and centre Richard Kahui are unlikely to be available for selection for the All Blacks opening Test of the season against Ireland in New Plymouth next week.

The All Blacks had their second day of training in Auckland on Friday, with the selectors still trying to separate the fit from the wounded.

Muliaina, Donnelly and Kahui are all overcoming injuries and assistant coach Wayne Smith has doubts about any of them playing.

Smith says it's day by day and they're progressing.

All three were named in the 26-man squad on Sunday but uncertainty over their fitness saw outside backs Ben Smith and Rene Ranger and lock Sam Whitelock joining the squad as cover.

Their likely exclusion means fullback Cory Jane, second five eighth Benson Stanley and lock Anthony Boric are likely to take their place in the starting lineup.

However the first Test picture is becoming a bit clearer with a XV in mind but Smith says, as ever everyone gets time in training.

The All Blacks still have to settle on combinations but will move players in and out before settling on a final starting side in New Plymouth.