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All Blacks dealt another blow as Will Jordan tests positive for Covid

By Ben Smith
With 16 tries in 11 Tests, Will Jordan came of age against Wales (Photo by Ian Cook via Getty Images)

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The All Blacks have been dealt another blow as they deal with a Covid outbreak on the eve of the first test against Ireland at Eden Park on Saturday.

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Star fullback Will Jordan is the sixth member of the All Blacks camp to test positive after midfielders David Havili and Jack Goodhue were among five members confirmed to have contracted the virus on Monday.

Four-test utility back Braydon Ennor, who covers wing and midfield, was drafted into the squad after Havili and Goodhue were ruled out.

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The All Blacks squad for the Ireland series | The Breakdown
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The All Blacks squad for the Ireland series | The Breakdown

Head coach Ian Foster and his assistants John Plumtree and Scott McLeod were the other three members of camp to test positive, and all three are currently in isolation as a result however completing their coaching duties via Zoom.

Jordan’s positive case has increased the chances of Sevu Reece and Leicester Fainga’anuku to start on the wing in the first test, with Caleb Clarke continuing to recover from a hamstring injury.

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New Zealand’s depleted midfield stocks also means it is likely that Quinn Tupaea and Rieko Ioane will take the reins at second-five and centre, respectively. Uncapped second-five Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is also in line for a potential debut.

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First-five Richie Mo’unga is also in doubt having missed Tuesday’s training session with a stomach bug.

In a statement posted on social media on Monday, Foster said “it’s extremely disappointing” to have contracted Covid, but “was very confident in the team’s ability to carry on preparing for the first test” against the touring Irish.

Ireland’s own preparations for this weekend’s clash in Auckland were dealt a blow as former Australian U20 wing Mack Hansen tested positive for Covid.

Hansen enjoyed a breakout Six Nations campaign, starring in his test debut against Wales in Dublin before going on to feature in three further tests throughout the tournament.

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The 24-year-old is currently isolating away from the Ireland squad, which will open its New Zealand tour when they face the Maori All Blacks in Hamilton on Wednesday.

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