All Blacks in no hurry to rush back captain
All Black captain Sam Cane and centre Jordie Barrett are set to spend another week on the sidelines due to injuries.
Captain Cane was a late withdrawal from New Zealand’s World Cup opener after straining his back at the end of the captain’s run.
The loose forward’s absence proved to be a big loss, with Ardie Savea taking over the captain’s armband during the 13-27 defeat to France last week.
In the wake of the match, All Blacks management called in Ethan Blackadder as an injury replacement.
Speaking to reporters forwards coach Jason Ryan revealed they will not rush back Cane.
While Blackadder is also unlikely to face Namibia on Friday.
“He got through a little bit of running work and we’ll reassess Sam tomorrow [on Tuesday],” Ryan said.
“We’ve got to get him right and now’s the chance to do that. We won’t be taking any risks with skip because he’s important to us.”
Ryan also give an update on Jordie Barrett (knee injury), Shannon Frizell (hamstring injury) and Tyrel Lomax (knee injury).
He revealed they are recovering well, but will not feature in Friday’s match.
“Shannon [Frizell] is progressing really well. We hope to get a full training week out of him next week,” Ryan said.
“Jordie [Barrett] is ticking away and Tyrel [Lomax] got through some good running today [Monday] and a little bit of scrumload too, which is good. Those boys have been working hard and we are going to need them all.”
Commenting on his progress, Barrett said: “It’s coming along pretty good.
“A slow 10 or 14 days but it’s on the improve.
“So, just day-by-day. It’s a funny one really, it’s come on out of nowhere in the past couple of weeks. Just a joint injury and a bit of inflammation but I am getting there and making progress each day.
“I got through today really well which is positive and got through some running. I didn’t do any running last week at all, just been on the watt bike.”
The All Blacks take on Namibia in Toulouse on Friday.
They will then have a two-week break, before a must-win clash against Italy on September 29.