Keo.co.za brings you the latest news from the All Blacks’ Grand Slam tour.
Donnelly’s tour is over - Lock Tom Donnelly suffered a knee injury during the All Blacks’ 38-18 win over Ireland last Saturday and will miss the last clash against Wales.
Head coach Graham Henry is positive that Brad Thorn will be fit to replace Donnelly and start his 50th Test in Cardiff this Saturday. Should Thorn not recover from his hamstring injury in time this week, Henry will be forced to play Sam Whitelock and Anthony Boric in the second row with flanker Jerome Kaino providing lock cover if necessary.
Meanwhile, Keven Mealamu should return to the All Blacks’ starting line-up after serving his reduced two-week ban.
Blacks to take it easy - Graham Henry says the All Blacks won’t over do it at training as they prepare for Test against Wales this weekend.
‘It’s the 14th test in five months – it’s a pretty demanding programme so we want to make sure we’ve got a full tank for the weekend. I don’t think we’ll be over working this week,’ said Henry
ABs simply the best - An All Blacks victory in Cardiff will not only secure them a Grand Slam, but it will confirm that they are one of the most successful teams in world sport.
A win this weekend will see the All Blacks’ record read 354 wins from 472 Tests – a 75% winning record. Head coach Graham Henry has played a major role in their success as he has led the team to 77 wins in 90 Tests.
According to Geoff Miller, co-author of the New Zealand Rugby Almanack, the All Blacks’ record is the best across all sporting codes.
‘Phar Lap [jockey] won 71 percent of his races,’ Miller told NZPA. ‘Manchester United, the ultimate in professional sporting excellence – in their best-ever year – had about 71 percent wins.
‘This makes the 75% of the All Blacks just stellar. The Springboks are clearly second in [rugby] terms of all-time success at 63.2%, having won 249 of 394 tests.’