Coles ruled out of Bledisloe opener

Dane Coles at All Blacks training last week. Photo: Getty Images
Dane Coles at All Blacks training last week. Photo: Getty Images
All Blacks hooker Dane Coles' frustrating season continues.

Coles has been ruled out of the Bledisloe Cup opener on Saturday night after suffering a head knock in the All Blacks' 'Game of Three Halves' hit-out on Friday night.

Coles has had an injury-plagued 2017 season with concussion symptoms, and only returned to the All Blacks for the pre-Bledisloe hit-out.

However, the All Blacks decider to rule him out of the opener as a precaution, and have called in Ricky Riccitelli as cover.

Coles will be further assessed by the All Blacks' medical staff this week, with Codie Taylor set to start at hooker, and Nathan Harris providing cover off the bench.

Nehe Milner-Skudder and David Havili have also both been released from the squad for the week, and will re-join the team in Dunedin next week.

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