All Blacks release Rieko Ioane
SQUAD UPDATE: Wing Rieko Ioane has been released by the All Blacks.
The 22-year-old star was released for the third round of New Zealand’s National Provincial Championship. He is expected to play for Auckland in their match against Bay of Plenty next weekend.
Ioane is one of nine All Blacks released this week. The others are Brad Weber, Liam Coltman, Josh Ioane, Vaea Fifita, Braydon Ennor, Autu Moli, Jackson Hemopo and Luke Jacobson.
Rieko Ioane has been struggling with his form this year and was dropped ahead of the All Blacks’ Bledisloe Cup match against the Wallabies on Saturday, which Steve Hansen’s side won 36-0.
Crusaders star George Bridge took Ioane’s No.11 place in the team and was one of the stars in the game after scoring a try and setting up another.
Sevu Reece took Ben Smith’s on the other wing for that match and he also had a big performance which included a memorable try.
“We saw lots of energy, we saw lots of intent, they were great under the high ball, great chasing kicks, so it’s a bit of pressure on the other guys now to front up,” Hansen said after the match.
“There’s the old saying ‘never give a sucker an even break because he’ll take it’. Now we’ve got some genuine competition, it will be good to see how it unfolds.”
Hansen will announce his World Cup squad on Wednesday, August 28.