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13 Dec 2017 3:19
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby

    Injuries, mumps dog All Blacks to the end

    The end of the rugby season has come as a relief to an All Blacks side whose injury and illness toll showed no signs of abating.

    A fourth player with the mumps. A captain flat on his back. A team doctor with a virus.

    The end of the season has come at a good time for the All Blacks.

    After the 33-18 win over Wales in Cardiff, coach Steve Hansen revealed lock Luke Romano had become the fourth player in the tour squad to have contracted the mumps.

    Romano's illness comes soon after flanker Ardie Savea emerged from five days of confinement in his room battling the contagious viral infection.

    Rookie centre Jack Goodhue left a week late for the tour after contracting the illness in New Zealand while star winger Rieko Ioane went down in week one of the tour.

    It was tough last week for Romano who was already ruled out of the Wales Test with a foot problem and a cut inner ear.

    Hansen revealed injured skipper Kieran Read was at Principality Stadium for the Test but was forced to watch it on a screen while lying down, such is the pain in his back.

    The problem is disc related and will need "some time" to come right but Hansen couldn't estimate the length of Read's recuperation and whether it would affect his return to Super Rugby.

    Hansen confirmed team doctor Tony Page joined those to have contracted a virus on tour but stressed it wasn't the mumps.

    The coach was relieved only one player appeared to be injured in Saturday's clash.

    Centre Ryan Crotty was forced out midway through the first half after taking a knock to the head and failing a local doctor's subsequent assessment.

    Hansen suggested Crotty may well be 100 per cent.

    "He thought the Welsh guy said 'cotton' and he said 'copper'," Hansen said.

    "He was a bit frustrated."


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