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All Blacks issue promising injury update on Tyrel Lomax

By Ned Lester
Tyrel Lomax in action for the All Blacks. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

The All Blacks will likely be at full strength when they take the field against Ireland in this weekend’s quarter-final in Paris, with injury-troubled prop Tyrel Lomax given the green light for selection availability.

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Lomax was taken from the field in the eighth minute of action in New Zealand’s 73-0 win over Uruguay, having played just 32 minutes in the Rugby World Cup prior to the match due to a deep cut sustained in a World Cup warm-up match.

The 27-year-old rose through the ranks to claim the No 3 jersey under new forwards coach Jason Ryan last year, forming a formidable front row with Ethan de Groot and Codie Taylor.

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All three are on track to be available for selection for the first time this tournament in the quarter-final, after Ryan revealed Lomax would be available for selection on Tuesday.

“Yeah, he’s trained really well today, got through what he needed to and definitely he will be considered for selection,” he said.

No other players are reported to be on the injury list, and de Groot’s return from a two-game red card suspension clears all players for the decisive match.

That’s more than their opponents can say, Ireland have five Ireland players nursing injuries.

Three of those five however have been participating in training ahead of the box office bout, with James Lowe, Keith Earls and Robbie Henshaw tracking well after a demanding pool schedule.

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James Ryan and Mack Hansen however were not active at training and while no players have been ruled out of the clash, doubts persist ahead of the team naming.

“If you’re heading to a final, which this is, it’s important you have got the luxury of picking from a squad that is fully available which is what we want to be,” Ryan added.

“You’re always going to get niggles but it’s great in this player’s point of view and in regards to Lowy [Lomax] it’s great he has got through today. We have a pretty high intensive training on Thursday so he’ll have to tick that off as well.”

Team Form

Last 5 Games

4
Wins
4
1
Streak
1
19
Tries Scored
36
84
Points Difference
193
4/5
First Try
5/5
4/5
First Points
3/5
5/5
Race To 10 Points
4/5

Ireland coaches have demanded a lot of their team in the tournament to date, with very little player rotation to ease the physical toll on preferred players.

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New Zealand on the other hand has rotated throughout the entire 33-man squad, handing each player an opportunity to put their hand up for selection at the business end of the tournament.

“We like to keep everyone hungry. I think it is important that everyone is competing in training and we have given everyone a crack in this World Cup.

“We are really clear on who our starting line-up is and it is full steam ahead for this final. This is where you want to be. It’s where the players want to be, in a final. It’s where you want to be as a coach and it’s where the All Blacks want to be.

“That is an opportunity we are looking forward to against the number one team in the world.”

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Having fallen to Ireland in a historic home series last year, there is plenty of extra motivation beyond the World Cup stakes for the All Blacks.

This World Cup caps off a tumultuous four years for the team and specifically for head coach Ian Foster, the relatively poor record of the team has resulted in is as close to an underdogs tag that the All Blacks have ever got heading into a World Cup quarter-final.

With the match likely to play a definitive role in the legacy of the coach and numerous retiring players, pressure is palpable. But, pressure is not foreign to this team.

“The All Black jersey means a lot to us. We have talked a lot over the last few months over the legacy of the black jersey and what it means.

“You talk about someone like Sean Fitzpatrick, he properly set the All Blacks legacy alight with what he did. Are we scared of failure? No. But do we want to embrace the legacy and what we want to achieve? Yes, and we want to walk towards it.”

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mitch 44 minutes ago
The Wallabies team Joe Schmidt must pick to win back Bledisloe Cup

Rodda will be a walk up starter at lock. Frost if you analyse his dominance has little impact and he’s a long way from being physical enough, especially when you compare to Rodda and the work he does. He was quite poor at the World Cup in his lack of physicality. Between Rodda and Skelton we would have locks who can dominate the breakdown and in contact. Frost is maybe next but Schmidt might go for a more physical lock who does their core work better like Ryan or LSL. Swain is no chance unless there’s a load of injuries. Pollard hasn’t got the scrum ability yet to be considered. Nasser dominated him when they went toe to toe and really showed him up. Picking Skelton effects who can play 6 and 8. Ideally Valetini would play 6 as that’s his best position and Wilson at 8 but that’s not ideal for lineout success. Cale isn’t physical enough yet in contact and defence but is the best backrow lineout jumper followed by Wright, Hanigan and Swinton so unfortunately Valetini probably will start at 8 with Wright or Hanigan at 6. Wilson on the bench, he’s got too much quality not to be in the squad. Paisami is leading the way at 12 but Hamish Stewart is playing extremely well also and his ball carrying has improved significantly. Beale is also another option based on the weekend. Beale is class but he’s also the best communicator of any Australian backline player and that can’t be underestimated, he’ll be in the mix.

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