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Ethan Blackadder replaces injured All Black in World Cup squad

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Ian Cook - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Flanker Ethan Blackadder will replace injured wing Emoni Narawa in the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup squad, with the team confirming the update on Saturday.


Following the All Blacks’ 27-13 loss to France on Friday night, coach Ian Foster told reporters that they shouldn’t be “surprised” if Narawa’s replacement was a loose forward.

The rumour mill was sent into overdrive on Saturday with Blackadder a notable last-minute omission from the Tasman Mako team to play Tarnaki in New Zealand’s provincial competition.

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But the rumours are true. Blackadder will head to France as the newest member of the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup squad ahead of their clash with Namibia in Toulouse.

“Ethan Blackadder is joining the RWC squad in France as a replacement player for Emoni Narawa,” a brief statement read on the All Blacks’ social media pages.

“The Tasman loose forward flies out of New Zealand on Sunday and will join the team in Lyon before the All Blacks next match against Namibia in Toulouse.”

Blackadder, 28, hasn’t played for New Zealand since 2021 but is widely considered to be one of the most exciting backrow talents in the nation.


The nine-Test All Black was named the Player of the Year at the Crusaders in 2022, but injuries have kept Blackadder away from the Test arena until now.

New Zealand started their Rugby World Cup campaign with a historic pool defeat to hosts France on Friday.

Captain Sam Cane was ruled out just before the Test which saw lock Tupou Vaa’i was handed a start at blindside flanker while Dalton Papali’i shifted to the coveted No. 7 jersey.


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