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Top All Black Hooker Dane Coles Now Highly Unlikely To Face Lions

The All Blacks seem to have lost the services of one of their key players: first choice hooker Dane Coles. Wellington Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree gave the media an update on Coles’ condition and the news was not good.

Plumtree reported that Coles was still not free of the concussion symptoms which have sidelined him since March 18. Plumtree said that in the short term this would definitely rule Coles out of the Hurricanes versus Chief clash on Friday. He added that it was looking highly unlikely Coles would be fit to play the Lions in the first test on June 24 in Auckland.

“It’s bad news for the All Blacks and bad news for all of New Zealand really,” Plumtree stated. “He hasn’t been able to train hard enough at this stage. It’s hard to say whether he’ll be available for any of the tests or the first test.”

This means that Coles will have to wait to bring up his 50th test cap for the All Blacks. In his place, his deputy last year, Cody Taylor, who has 14 caps mostly off the bench, will step into the crucial hooker role. While Taylor has been in excellent form for the unbeaten Crusaders, the All Blacks will miss the extra playmaking attributes that Coles brings to his game. Coles had an outstanding season last year, and was nominated for IRB World Player of the Year. Coles performed all his core duties with excellent efficiency, and all pulled off many outrageous offloads, bursting midfield runs and seering passes which led to him being unanimously recognised as the best in the game in his position.

Concussion issues have plagued many of the top All Blacks this season, with Kieran Read, Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett all being sidelined after complaining of suffering symptoms of the brain injury.

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Author: The PA Team

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