Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Rieko Ioane a chance to play Wallabies

Blues back Rieko Ioane is one of five players called into the All Blacks squad following Saturday's 42-8 Bledisloe Cup thrashing of Australia.

The victory came at a cost in terms of casualties, with hookers James Parsons and Liam Coltman, plus midfielder Seta Tamanivalu and fullback Damian McKenzie called in.

All four have been involved with the All Blacks before, but this is the first time 19-year-old Ioane has featured with the national team.

Midfielder George Moala and hooker Nathan Harris were ruled out of the match in Sydney during the week, hooker Codie Taylor and midfielder Ryan Crotty suffered head injuries during the test, and wing Waisake Naholo was another casualty, pulling a hamstring when scoring a first-half try.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said Ioane, who had a stunning season with the Blues and shone on the sevens circuit for New Zealand, was a chance to play the Wallabies in Wellington on Saturday.

Ioane has the ability to play on the wing or at centre.

"He had a very good Super season and he's someone that we see having a big career," Hansen said.

"He's 19 but he's been to the Olympics. He's been on the sevens stage. He's done a lot of worldly things. But this environment I'm sure will really test him so we'll just have to monitor that and see how he copes with it."

Hansen said hooker Dane Coles, an early substitute for Taylor despite carrying a rib injury, had recovered well from the test at ANZ Stadium.

"We wouldn't want him to play the full 80 [at Westpac Stadium], but he's actually pulled up really well. We're quite surprised how he has pulled up."

Hansen said Harris was out for the season with an ACL (knee) injury. Moala has a medial ligament (knee) problem.

Flanker Matt Todd, brought in as cover last week, has returned to Canterbury.

- NZ Herald

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