All Blacks

Jerome Kaino to return to rugby

The All Blacks have advised that Kaino will assemble with the Auckland team ahead of their Mitre 10 Cup match against Taranaki on Saturday night.

Kaino was not included in the match day squad for the All Blacks for their Bledisloe Cup test against Australia in Sydney on August 19 and returned home to deal with a personal matter following the publication of a story in the Australian media on the morning of the match. 

The Daily Telegraph in Sydney alleged he had had an affair with a model named Tara Pokarier. 

Julian Savea gets a spell

Lions coach Chris Gibbes has made six changes to the starting team which beat Taranaki 42-26 on Saturday, for Thursday night's clash with Bay of Plenty in Rotorua. Wellington have three games in a short space of time, so managing resources is critical.

Beyond the changes to the starting side, there's four more in the reserves, including the selection of Filipo. The Petone outside back was sentenced to nine months' supervision for assaulting four people, including two women, in November last year and ordered to attend alcohol counselling and a course on living without violence.

Heat goes on SBW

Bumbling Sonny Bill Williams and brilliant Beauden Barrett grabbed the focus from an "extraordinary" Bledisloe Cup test as British media continue to put the microscope on the All Blacks.

The northern interest in the performance of Steve Hansen's side as only intensified in the wake of their drawn series with the British and Irish Lions.

And the British press couldn't have found a more contradiction to the tight tussle with the Lions than the 10-try extravaganza in Dunedin where the All Blacks sealed their comeback win two minutes from the finish with Barrett scoring.

All Blacks retain Bledisloe Cup

Critics rounded on the Wallabies after they were put to the sword in the first half of the Rugby Championship opener in Sydney last weekend and they responded with a rousing start under the roof in Dunedin.

Israel Folau scored the first try of a chaotic clash inside 30 seconds and Michael Cheika's men led 17-0 with only 15 minutes played following further scores from captain Michael Hooper and Bernard Foley.

All Blacks want to finish Bledisloe job in Dunedin

Read said the team only had to watch last week’s second half, where they bizarrely let  to see the dangers of the Wallabies, rueing a job they viewed as only half done.

“(You) just have to look at the footage from the last 20 minutes of the game and we know how dangerous they can be,” he said.

“We slightly took our foot off the throat and if we're not there mentally, they're a team that can do that. They're dangerous, they're hungry, they've certainly got a point to prove, so

Read said that was a mistake they wouldn’t want to be making on Saturday in Dunedin.

All Blacks cleared over Sonny Bill

Williams took a blow to the head when making a tackle early in the All Blacks' 54-34 win over the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday.

The 32-year-old appeared to be struggling after sustaining another couple of big impacts, but did not undergo the HIA protocols.

SANZAAR reviewed the incident and concluded that there had been no "deliberate failure" on the part of the world champions in the way they handled the situation.

Wallabies suffer injury blow

Coleman's late withdrawal has paved the way for 21-year-old Izack Rodda to make an unexpected test debut off the bench against the world's No 1 ranked side. 

On Thursday, Cheika named Coleman and Rob Simmons as Australia's starting second-rowers but Wallabies officials say Coleman aggravated an existing shoulder injury at the team's last session in Christchurch that day. 

Williams cleared for Dunedin Bledisloe

Williams appeared dazed after a clash early in the Sydney Test, but was never taken off for a head check, prompting a SANZAAR investigation.

New Zealand medical staff, though, have cleared the centre to play in the second Test with the 32-year-old not presenting any symptoms.

There are three changes to the All Blacks matchday 23, headlined by Dane Coles returning from a concussion layoff to start in his 50th Test.

Wallabies forwards want to up the ante

Defence was an obvious issue for Australia, but in the set piece they matched the All Blacks, with the scrum in particular causing some annoyances for the visitors, with Owen Franks in repeated conversations with Wayne Barnes over weight-bearing.

Scrum coach Mario Ledesma said there was no big secret to the Wallabies’ competitiveness in the scrum, but they couldn’t rely on one competitive performance to get them through.

Coles boost for All Blacks

Coles missed four months of action with a head injury, sitting out the British and Irish Lions series before returning for Hurricanes' Super Rugby quarter-final win over Brumbies last month.

The 30-year-old was due to return to the international fold for New Zealand's opening Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies last week, which they won 54-34, but suffered a fresh head knock in the 'game of three halves' against Taranaki and Counties Manukau and was ruled out of the Bledisloe Cup contest.