Patrick McKendry

Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Rugby: Read in doubt for Dunedin test

Kieran Read of the All Blacks looks on from the sidelines during a New Zealand All Blacks training session at Trusts Stadium. Photo / Getty.
Kieran Read of the All Blacks looks on from the sidelines during a New Zealand All Blacks training session at Trusts Stadium. Photo / Getty.

A lack of match fitness means Kieran Read is a doubt for next Saturday's test against England in Dunedin.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen today hinted he could take a cautious approch to the return of the No8, who has played only once since suffering his concussion while playing for the Crusaders against the Chiefs in April.

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"Kieran trained for an hour and a half yesterday with no signs or symptoms," Hansen said.

"It's just a matter of the lack of games, whether we chuck him back in or whether we do the safer thing and give him a week's training and build him up and save him for the last test.

"It would be nice to have him because he's a great player, but we have to think about the whole year, and him."

If Read is ruled out again, Jerome Kaino, an impressive performer for the All Blacks, will retain his place at No8.

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Israel Dagg could also be a doubtful starter for the second test, with a thigh and knee problem cutting his night short during the All Blacks' 20-15 victory over England at Eden Park last night.

However, Julian Savea could be available to return to the left wing. Hansen said Savea's knee was improving well.

- APNZ

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