The New Zealand media are again speculating about the immediate future of their best player, No.8 Kieran Read.
According to Newstalk ZB Read is again a doubtful starter ahead of the second Test against England in Dunedin this coming Saturday.
Read, the reigning IRB Player of the Year, is still feeling the effects of two concussions which have sidelined him for much of this year’s Super Rugby competition and missed this past weekend’s 20-15 win over England in Auckland.
According to the New Zealand media an extra passenger on the All Blacks’ plane to Dunedin means Read’s return for the second game in the three-Test series remains uncertain.
Blues loose forward Steven Luatua travelled with the squad to Dunedin.
He was initially only meant to cover for Read during the Auckland Test.
Based on Luatua’s presence, the first Test performance of Jerome Kaino and All Black coach Steven Hansen’s post comments, Newstalk ZB editor Nigel Yalden suspects the All Black coach is leaning towards giving Read a week to train before considering him for the third Test.
Hansen described what unfolded at Eden Park as a typical opening Test of the year.
He said everyone looked for the All Blacks to be perfect from the get-go and the players probably had the same expectation of themselves as well.
“But sometimes that’s not the reality and we struggled at times with our skill execution,” he said.
“Usually that’s an indicator that we’ve got cluttered minds. Then, if we have cluttered minds, it’s probably because we’ve made them cluttered through the week giving them too much to do.”
However, Hansen says some of that is necessary when getting players from five different franchises coming together.
“I think, another six days, we will step up a few more levels and be in a better position to really gauge where we’re at.”
Source: Newstalk ZB