[1/2] Rugby Union – June Internationals – New Zealand vs France – Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand – June 16, 2018 – Sam Cane of New Zealand runs with the ball. REUTERS/Ross Setford
Oct 30 (Reuters) – All Blacks coach Ian Foster has been forced to name a replacement captain for the remainder of his team’s northern hemisphere tour after Sam Cane withdrew having fractured his cheekbone in New Zealand’s narrow win over Japan on Saturday.
Cane suffered a pair of small facial fractures in the 38-31 victory over the Brave Blossoms in Tokyo and will flee back to New Zealand while the rest of the squad travels to Europe, where they will take on Wales, Scotland and England.
Foster refused to reveal who would captain the team for the remainder of the tour, but confirmed he had decided which player would take on those responsibilities.
“We’ve got an answer, but we’ve got about three different flights and team players all left late last night or early this morning so I haven’t had a final conversation with the person,” Foster said.
“I’m just going to reserve that for a day, but it’s all sorted.”
The All Blacks had already been hit by a series of withdrawals before their departure for Japan, with Jordie, Scott and Beauden Barrett absent as well as Sam Whitelock, Will Jordan, Folau Fakatava and Leicester Fainga’anuku.
While the Barrett brothers are expected to return, hooker Dan Coles has joined the list of players who will be unavailable for the rest of the tour after picking up a calf injury during the warm-up for the Japan game.
Cane and Coles have been replaced in the squad by Billy Harmon and Asafo Aumua ahead of next week’s meeting with the Welsh in Cardiff.
Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Nick Zieminski
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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