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All Blacks Beset With Three Injuries Ahead Of Ireland Test

New Zealand v South Africa

New Zealand could be without three key players ahead of their meeting with Ireland in Chicago.

The All Blacks might have to contend with missing their first choice second row partnership ahead of their first autumn test with Ireland.

Stuff.nz have reported that Steve Hansen will definitely be without Brodie Retallick after the 2014 World Player of The Year suffered a concussion as a result of an elbow thrown by Dean Mumm last weekend.

Retallick could be joined by Sam Whitelock on the sidelines, leaving the All Blacks without their primary second row partnership.

Whitelock is suffering from an ankle strain and is not expected to be fit for the game in Chicago. Consequently, Hansen is likely to start Patrick Tuipulotu and Luke Romano in the second row, with either Vaea Fifita or Scott Barrett providing cover from the bench.

With Devin Toner to aim at in the line-out, this potentially gives Ireland the opportunity to secure their own throw and deploy a potent mauling game.

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Although Aaron Smith has come back into the reckoning, Stuff believe Beauden Barrett “continues to struggle with an ear inflection he picked up in South Africa and battled in the lead-up to the win over the Wallabies at Eden Park”.

While Ireland could take some solace from Barrett’s performance against Australia, New Zealand can call on Aaron Cruden to provide more than adequate cover.

Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.