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Kieran Read battling injury to face Wales

All Blacks duo Beauden Barrett and Kieran Read

All Blacks captain Kieran Read has been given extra recovery time in order to be fit for the test match against Wales, missing the first training session of the week.

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“He’s a bit battered after the last couple [of tests], so we took him out of training today to give him a chance to have an extra 24 hours. He’ll recover quick,” said assistant coach Ian Foster said after the session.

“He gets through a lot of work and at this stage of the year he’s just a bit sore. It’s really a management decision to pull him out today, and give him a chance to walk around and watch training, and hopefully freshen up for later in the week.

“With his experience, he’ll be firing later on.”

The All Blacks will be hoping the precautious approach will give Read and the All Blacks a rejuvenation after Read expressed his concerns over the All Blacks start against Scotland after the match.

“I think for us in that first half it wasn’t a skill thing. We were just 5 percent off maybe attitudinally and we made it hard for ourselves. We were not winning gainlines, we were not winning the chance to make the Scots go backwards so they had front foot ball and were coming off the line really quick.

“In a test match, if you win those, you generally get the rub of the green. It comes from within. It starts with the individual, doesn’t it? So we have to look at ourselves and our preparation to see what we can do better.”

There are already two guaranteed changes to the side that beat Scotland, with star wing Rieko Ioane (shoulder) and lock Luke Romano (plantar fascia) both ruled out.

Meanwhile, Read has copped a blast from Scotland assistant coach Dan McFarland for a “cynical” play late in the Murrayfield test.

In the 72nd minute of the match, with Scotland attacking the All Blacks line, Read appears to deliberately slap the ball out of the grasp of Scotland lock Jonny Gray from an illegal position on the ground.

 

“That was just cynical wasn’t it,” McFarland told media in Edinburgh in assessing Read’s play. “It should have been a yellow card, quite possibly a try, and quite possibly a penalty try.

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“I can see that [all those options] would be something for discussion, but that’s not up for discussion now is it?

“New Zealand are an extremely competitive side and everybody in world rugby knows that when you get the ball into their 22, the very last thing they want to do is concede a try. That’s how they play. They’re very streetwise, they’re very clever.”

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