All Blacks line-up thrown into COVID-19 chaos

The hits keep coming for the All Blacks ahead of Saturday’s series opening Test against Ireland at Eden Park.

Outside back Will Jordan has been ruled out of the match after contracting COVID-19, joining fellow Crusaders David Havili and Jack Goodhue on the sidelines.

News Jordan had the virus comes a day after it was confirmed Havili and Goodhue, along with head coach Ian Foster, and assistants John Plumtree and Scott McLeod, had been struck down.

Watch every match of the July Test series on the home of rugby, Stan Sport. Kicks off on July 2 with Wallabies vs England live in 4K plus All Blacks vs Ireland, Springboks vs Wales and much more. All streaming ad free, live and on demand only on Stan Sport

Pivot Richie Mo’unga also missed training on Tuesday with a stomach bug, but he has not tested positive to COVID-19 and is expected to rejoin the team later this week.

The timing around the symptoms and results for Foster and Plumtree is not known, but it’s understood they and McLeod, who tested positive around noon on Monday, will be out for Saturday’s Eden Park opener.

As a result of the disruptions, Foster confirmed he had decided to call in selector-to-be Joe Schmidt, the former Ireland head coach, to boost the All Blacks’ resources this week.

READ MORE: Struggling Hamilton may quit ‘fed up’ Mercedes

READ MORE: Aussie star breaks seven year Wimbledon hoodoo

READ MORE: Djokovic makes history with first round win

Jordan was one of three players remaining in the squad not to have caught COVID-19. Extra precautions are being taken with the remaining two.

A few months after most Super Rugby teams were hit heavily by COVID-19, there is also the very real threat of players contracting the virus a second time.

Fresh from scoring 10 tries and leading all players for meters gained during the Crusaders’ victorious Super Rugby campaign, Jordan was expected to start in the No.14 jersey on Saturday.

NEW PODCAST: Sean Maloney and Andrew Mehrtens welcome back Morgan Turinui to review the Super Rugby Pacific final and are joined by the legendary HG Nelson to talk ‘The Cream,’ Michael Cheika and Wallabies vs England

However, his unavailability opens the door for fellow Crusader Sevu Reece, who also touched down 10 tries for the red and blacks this season, and was the form right wing in the competition.

The All Blacks formed in full in Auckland last Tuesday, and were in camp in Northland late last week.

With Foster, Plumtree and McLeod all out for the week, the All Blacks will be in the hands of remaining coaches Greg Feek and Brad Mooar, who will now have Schmidt to help their preparations for the test.

‘Razor’ Robertson’s latest breakdancing celebration

Foster said he was confident in the team’s ability to carry on preparing for the first Test without the absences causing too much harshness.

“It’s a great opportunity for the wider coaching group and the senior players, who will be highly motivated to step up,” he said.

“We have learned how to cope with the unexpected, like everyone has over the past couple of years. I will still be working alongside the coaches and team via Zoom and I have huge faith in the coaching group and the players.”

The All Blacks will name their first team of the season on Thursday.

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

#Blacks #lineup #thrown #COVID19 #chaos

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.