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All Blacks add depth for second Rugby Championship Test



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New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has added five players to his All Black squad including teenage Olympic Sevens star Rieko Ioane.

The All Blacks lead the Rugby Championship standings having beaten Australia’s Wallabies 8-42 in the opening round match in Sydney.

New Zealand’s next match is a second Test against Australia in Wellington this Saturday and the line up could change due to a number of injuries sustained in the opener.

Nineteen-year-old speedster Ioane who was part of the New Zealand Olympic Sevens squad in Rio has been added to the squad as he can cover several backline positions.

Seta Tamanivalu, fullback Damian McKenzie and hookers James Parsons and Liam Coltman have also been added to the squad.

All Blacks coach Hansen says that Ioane has a big playing future ahead of him after shining for the Blues in Super Rugby and on the Sevens circuit.

“He had a very good Super season and he’s someone that we see having a big career,” Hansen told AFP.

“He’s 19 but he’s been to the Olympics. He’s been on the sevens stage. He’s done a lot of worldly things. But this environment I’m sure will really test him so we’ll just have to monitor that and see how he copes with it.”

The call ups come after hooker Nathan Harris was injured before the Sydney test which saw Codie Taylor start but then replaced due to a head knock.

Centre Ryan Crotty scored the opening try but then suffered a head knock while wing Waisake Naholo (hamstring) left the field during the Sydney match.

Hansen said that Harris’ knee injury would keep him out for the rest of the season.

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