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ABs to sweat over loosie cover – The All Blacks will have no specialised loose forward for their World Cup opener against Tonga.
With Adam Thomson and Kieran Read currently sidelined, the All Blacks will depend largely on Richie McCaw, Jerome Kaino and Victor Vito as their starting loose trio. Lock Sam Whitelock will provide flank cover if needed.
Thomson is expected to return for the All Blacks’ second group game against Japan while Read should only play a role after the pool phase. Because the duo remain in the World Cup squad, the All Blacks will not be allowed to call up other replacements.