All Blacks touch down in Wellington

By Daniel Richardson

Despite two bruising local derbies in Super Rugby during the weekend, most of the All Blacks have arrived for their three-day training camp in Wellington unscathed. Photo / Getty Images.
Despite two bruising local derbies in Super Rugby during the weekend, most of the All Blacks have arrived for their three-day training camp in Wellington unscathed. Photo / Getty Images.

Despite two bruising local derbies in Super Rugby during the weekend, most of the All Blacks have arrived for their three-day training camp in Wellington unscathed.

The Crusaders edged the Highlanders 32-30 in Dunedin last night, while the Hurricanes hammered the Chiefs 45-8 in the capital.

Those fixtures between the Kiwi sides have a high risk of injury given their physical nature and the All Blacks coaches must watch them with an element of concern, particularly with next month's three-test series against England fast approaching.

Hurricanes prop Ben Franks limped off during the second half last night after his troublesome groin flared up again and he will be monitored closely, while Crusaders midfielder Ryan Crotty took a heavy knock to his hip but is understood to be alright.

Crusaders No 8 Kieran Read has joined the national side after being sidelined with concussion and the flu but All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said the reigning IRB Player of the Year was healthy.

"He had a good week last week," Foster said. "He's starting to up his training load and I think the cold he's had seems to have settled down. So hopefully he has a good solid training week."

Foster said Read did conditioning work with the Crusaders last week and would be considered for the first test against England at Eden park in Auckland on June 7 despite his limited preparation.

"It's tempting to put a player like him straight back in after three or four weeks off but the fact they had a chance to do a bit of conditioning work with him will hold him in good stead."

All Blacks wing Julian Savea, who scored two tries for the Hurricanes during their victory over the defending Super Rugby champions, said recovery would be important during the next couple of days.

"I'm pretty sore today," Savea said. "It was a pretty physical game last night so I got a couple of knocks to the knees and stuff, so yeah, not feeling the best."

Blues prop Charlie Faumuina, who played during his side's 29-23 loss the Sharks in Albany on Friday night, said his body was in good nick given the stage of the season.

"It's not too bad. It obviously takes a little bit longer to recover from some of the big games that we have but it's normally pretty good," he said.

- APNZ

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