Test build-up looks smooth for full-strength ABs

The All Blacks are raring to go for the second test against Ireland. Photo: Getty Images
The All Blacks are raring to go for the second test against Ireland. Photo: Getty Images
The All Blacks are revelling in the Dunedin sunshine and at full strength as they seek to wrap up a series victory over Ireland this weekend.

Unlike last week’s Covid-interrupted build-up for the Eden Park opener, the preparation for the Forsyth Barr Stadium clash is looking smooth for the All Blacks.

All coaches are back in camp for a full week of training and tinkering as they brace for an Irish backlash to the 42-19 result in Auckland.

Backs Will Jordan, David Havili and Jack Goodhue are also on deck after their spells out with Covid.

There are no new injuries to report, and it appears the All Blacks will also not have to worry about any disciplinary hearings.

Scott Barrett was penalised for a high shot on fellow blindside flanker Peter O’Mahony late in the Eden Park test but there has been no indication of further action being taken.

The All Blacks trained at the University Oval yesterday before having a recovery session at Moana Pool.

They train again today — none of their preparation is open to the public — but the players have tomorrow off.

Ireland has stayed in camp on the North Shore, and the touring squad does not arrive in Dunedin until late tomorrow.

Ulster centre James Hume has flown home with an injured groin, but the Irish have been boosted by the arrival of replacements Ed Byrne and Stuart McCloskey.

Star first five Johnny Sexton was completing his HIA process yesterday and remains a chance to play in the second test, but prop Jeremy Loughman and hooker Dave Heffernan are out with concussion.

Winger Mack Hansen has completed his period of Covid isolation, and prop Finlay Bealham will be available to train later this week once his period of isolation is  complete.



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