All Blacks Captain

Sam Cane to play for King Country

Cane, who hasn't played since late April, is set to return to the All Blacks for their Northern Hemisphere tour later this month.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster had said they were keen to have Cane play a game before heading off shore.

Cane had to get special dispensation to play for King Country as he plays his provincial rugby for Bay of Plenty, but they have the bye this weekend.

All Blacks skipper worries about future health

More former players have joined a class-action lawsuit against World, England and Wales rugby, which alleges a failure to protect them from the risks caused by concussions.

Those players include ex England international Steve Thompson, who at 42 has been diagnosed with early onset dementia and probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Former All Black Neemia Tialata is also part of the legal action.

He now has headaches and mood swings and other symptoms related to the several concussions he suffered during his career.

Read fit for England – Hansen

Influential skipper Read was absent from the All Blacks' training session on Tuesday to spark fears over his availability for the mouth-watering showdown in Yokohama.

However, Hansen says Read was nursing a sore calf that New Zealand did not want to exacerbate in wet conditions.

"There is no issue. You didn't see him train because he was in the gym on the bike," Hansen said. 

"He got a tight calf from the game the other day and we didn't want to put him out on a wet track."

Pressed on if Read will face England, Hansen replied: "Yeah, 100 per cent."

Captain Kieran Read upbeat after injury struggles

The 33-year-old underwent back surgery late last year, and was out of action until late June for the Crusaders, and did not play a test for the All Blacks until the Rugby Championship in August.

The number eight was far from his best when he returned which led to plenty of criticism, with coach Steve Hansen forced to defend his captain on numerous occasions saying any negative comments were unwarranted and ridiculous.