The injury toll keeps growing for the All Blacks with lock Brodie Retallick ruled out of the first test against France this weekend.
Retallick injured his pectoral muscle in the Chiefs‘ loss to the Crusaders, he‘ll have scans later this week to determine the severity of the injury.
Retallick‘s locking partner and captain for the series, Sam Whitelock, is also under an injury cloud while Sam Cane and All Blacks newcomer, Jordan Taufua, are in a race against time to get fit in time for the test.
Regular captain Kieran Read, Sonny Bill Williams, Dane Coles as well props Nepo Laulala and Kane Hames are already unavailable because of injury.
Luke Romano and Tom Franklin will provide injury cover for Retallick while loose forward Matt Todd has also been called into the squad.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said while the injuries aren‘t ideal, he‘s not panicking yet.
“Fortunately the foundation days we have 50, two lots of 25 (players training), so that allowed us to bring a few extra in and set things up.
“The two camps we‘ve had, still again, the majority of people are on board with where we‘re going so that makes it easier when we‘ve got to bring one or two people in late.”
Hansen went on to say that at this stage, Whitelock, Cane and Taufua are on track to play on the weekend.
The three-test series starts in Auckland this Saturday.