Kiwi wrap (Tues)

Keo.co.za brings you the latest news from New Zealand’s year-end tour.

Mourie: Slam easier now

All Blacks great Graham Mourie believes the Grand Slam is easier to achieve now then in the past.

Mourie, who was a member of the All Blacks squad who first achieved the feat back in 1978, claims the Slam was a lot tougher 30 years ago.

“I think it’s probably easier these days,” said Mourie. “The difficulty in the old days was we had 30 players, no replacements and you played twice a week.

“For example, on that tour I played 14 of the 18 games, Andy Haden played 13 and Leicester Rutledge played 12. You were away for nine weeks and you played 14 games and you had to front up and play four or five Tests amongst that.

“You might carry an injured player for three or four weeks because if he wasn’t bad enough to go home he wasn’t replaced.

“So just all those little bits and pieces … travelling by bus, a couple of after-match functions each week … you had to be a pretty well-balanced person to survive that environment.”

Mourie was also a member of the side that famously lost to Munster on that tour, but the veteran believes a repeat result on Wednesday seems unlikely.

Woodcock could miss Wales Test

All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock could miss his side’s clash against Wales after being cited for punching in the win over Ireland.

Woodcock and Ireland flanker Alan Quinlan are both facing disciplinary action and possible bans after being cited by IRB officer Peter Larter following the game at Croke Park.

Woodcock was yellow carded for punching Ireland hooker Rory Best, but Larter has decided the matter warrants further investigation.

The All Blacks’ scrum has not been at its usual best on this tour and the loss of Woodcock would be a big blow to the front row, having already lost hooker Andrew Hore through injury.

More to follow …