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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.

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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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B.J. Spratt 311 days ago

Can anyone tell me why Ireland are Paying $5.75 to WIN RWCup and NZ is Paying $4,50

Ash 312 days ago

What beggars belief is why they're not calling up more players.

B.J. Spratt 313 days ago

Blackadder no Kirkparick, Michael Jones, Jerome Kaino or Jerry Collins, but he is the Best Number 6 we have.

Don't think he can save the farm. Gives 120% which is lot better than anyone we have in the team at the moment, apart form Roigard.

Sunny 313 days ago

By adding Ethan Blackadder to the All blacks maybe the reason why there's been no mongrel in the All Blacks forwards. With Shannon Frizzell, and Ethan Blackadder being part of The Tasman Mako, they will bring that mongrel which is missing in their forwards. Another player from the Tasman Mako is Tyrell Lomax, who is resting an injury suffered in the warm up match against SA. Their combined weight is approximately, Lomax, Frizzell, and Blackadder is;
Lomax 132 kg
Frizzell 125 kg
Blackadder 128 = 445kgs.
Which is a hell of a mongrel power that the All Blacks are missing. Then add Ardie Savea's weight, ask yourselves.

Brett 313 days ago

So much for the experience players standing up and coming up with solutions they look like they lost and berieved of ideas our loose forwards are way too small our tight five is struggling. Sami being replaced as the starting hooker by Taylor that’s another foster looking after the old boys as far as I’m concerned

Brett 313 days ago

Have to wonder if the coaching team are on the same page Schmidt and Ryan are too very good coaches and some of the selection decisions don’t make a lot of sense too light in the forwards taking an extra winger even Blackadder has to be considered high risk considering his run of injuries big difference in physicality from npc and test matches

Driss 313 days ago

We have Finau beast and they call Ethan overrated…foster continues to be a joke but they call anyone , this World Cup is lost with an amateurish staff coaching.
We are waiting only Razor with impatience to rebuild the all blacks machine .

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Jon 5 hours ago
British & Irish Lions free agent open to Super Rugby switch

There are a couple of teams who could use a stop gap experienced head. Blues - I’m not sure the Blues have signed a replacement for Caleb Tangitau (if he hasn’t been let go to make room for Barrett) yet, or whether Reiko is going on sabbatical and/or will remain in the squad. With exciting young French player Xavi Taele looking destined for higher honors in black, talented breakthrough rookie Cory Evan’s, and a couple of utilities, in AJ Lam and Bryce Heem(even Clarke?), all trying to learn the midfield trade, Williams could be a great aid. The Blues signed key English center Joe Marchant before he was raised to that level, and were possibly in the hunt to bring back the dependable Tele’a from the Highlanders. Possible the main squeeze which would put to bed any signing here would be the battle at 10 with Beauden’s return, and the forcing of Plummer back into the midfield. Hurricanes - Jordie Barrett is off to Leinster for a sabbatical next year but the more likely signing would be Billy’s brother back in the team. The Hurricanes are light on the outside with the loss of Salesi Rayasi to the Top 14 and if no quality is found to back up Kini Naholo, the midfield of Sullivan or Proctors could find themselves on the wing and space for a leader to show the Hurricanes three All Black midfield hopefuls (Higgins, Proctor, Umaga-Jensen) how its done. Highlanders - Rotation is high as usual at the Highlanders and versatility remains a strength with a lot of the squad. With compatriot Rhys Patchell signing a move to the JRLO, the passing of outside back Connor Garden-Bachop, and confirmed departure of Argentine wing Martin Bogado, the versatility of many of the young backups in the squad could see a veteran 12 like Williams being a strong partner for the robust Tele’a. With hope that the other Umaga-Jensen brother can force him out of the starting lineup, and shifting the sides general Sam Gilbert back into 10, the off-contract midfielder might seen as the perfect option for a squad still looking to fill one back spot.

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