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All Black's return delayed


All Black's return delayed after injury

Luke Romano’s All Black return has been delayed after an injury suffered during the Mitre 10 Cup final.

The 32-year-old was in the wider squad of 19 players to face Japan next weekend as All Blacks coach Steve Hansen sent 22 of the main squad to England early to prepare for the northern tour.

Romano appeared for Canterbury in the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership final at Eden Park on Saturday, suffering an injury in the 40-33 extra time loss against Auckland and has subsequently been ruled out of the match against Japan according to TVNZ.

The lock has played 31 tests for the All Blacks since making his debut in 2012, but hasn’t made an appearance for the side since last year’s Northern Tour.

The All Blacks’ frontline locks include Romano’s Crusaders teammates Sam Whitelock and Scott Barrett as well as Brodie Retallick, with Patrick Tuipulotu rounding out the group. Barrett put in an 80 minute shift in the All Blacks’ 37-20 win over the Wallabies on Saturday night.

The All Blacks are reportedly set to name a replacement for Romano on Sunday.

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All Black's return delayed after injury