Wynne Gray

Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

All Blacks: Taylor called up

Tom Taylor. Photo / Geoff Sloan
Tom Taylor. Photo / Geoff Sloan

Hooker Hika Elliot and utility back Tom Taylor have been called into the All Blacks as the squad deals with injuries and another judicial issue.

As expected Elliot has been drafted in from the just compeleted NZ Maori tour to cover for the rash of problems at hooker.

Keven Mealamu is still recovering from his latest calf problem and remains an uncertain starter for Sunday's final test on tour against England.

The side's other senior hooker Andrew Hore is likely to face a judicial hearing this week after clobbering Wales' lock Bradley Davies in the opening minute of today's 33-10 victory in Cardiff.

Rookie tourist Dane Coles is the only fit hooker, so a rapid call was made to draft in Elliot before the Maori squad flew home.

Taylor's inclusion is more of a mystery.

However it suggests injury problems for all three five eighths are more serious than first thought.

Daniel Carter has damaged the lower part of his right calf-Achilles tendon area and remains in coach Steve Hansen's estimate today, a 50-50 chance for this week's Twickenham test.

Aaron Cruden was subbed after 67 minutes yesterday during his prominent role in the All Blacks victory. Not long after the match Hansen said Cruden had cramped up so they decided to replace him with Barrett.

Barrett was playing with his ribs heavily strapped and protected after taking a wallop against Italy and being subbed in that game.

An All Black spokesman said further details about the injuries and replacements would come later today.

- NZ Herald

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