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Goodhue SBW combo on hold


Goodhue and Sonny Bill All Black midfield combination on hold for now

The Jack Goodhue and Sonny Bill Williams midfield combination has been temporarily put on hold, with illness set to keep Goodhue out until the All Blacks play England next month.

23-year-old Goodhue is currently dealing with glandular fever and will head straight to London to prepare for the test against England, with Ngani Laumape taking his place for the October 27 third Bledisloe Test against Australia.

Ryan Crotty is the likely starter in the No. 13 jersey alongside Williams, with the versatile Anton Lienert-Brown among the reserves.

“He’s playing well; not to say that Ryan’s not, but he’s playing very well and we want to see that combination of him and Sonny,” Hansen said of Goodhue before he was ruled out of the Springboks rematch to cap the Rugby Championship.

“We last saw it in the French series. We know a lot about Ryan and Jack but we don’t know a lot about Sonny and Jack.

“All year we’ve been trying to work out what’s our best combination in that area for the future and this is an opportunity to do that.”

Goodhue was one of the All Blacks’ most consistent performers during the Rugby Championship despite having just five Tests to his name after making his debut against France earlier this year.

The young midfielder shapes as an important piece of Steve Hansen’s World Cup plans. He first burst on the scene his first year out of high school, playing for Canterbury in the Mitre 10 Cup. After suffering an ACL and MCL injury in 2015 he missed almost a year of action before eventually starring for the Crusaders as a 22-year-old in 2017 and earning an All Blacks call-up and his first non-test international appearance.

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Goodhue and Sonny Bill All Black midfield combination on hold for now