ABs set for Read boost

Kieran Read is confident that he’ll recover from his rib injury in time for the All Blacks’ Rugby Championship opener against the Wallabies next Saturday.

The No 8 missed the Crusaders’ final three matches of their Super Rugby campaign because rib damaged cartilage. However, he confirmed that he should be fit as he joined his All Black team-mates at training in Waitakere on Friday.

‘They’re [the ribs] feeling really good, I haven’t pushed them yet and not a lot of contact, so I’ll just have to see how they pull up next week but feeling really good at the moment,’ Read told the media.

Lock Luke Romano is still an injury concern as he hurt his shoulder in the Super Rugby semi-final. Head coach Steve Hansen will be hoping the second-rower will recover in time as he is the third specialist lock in the squad.

Meanwhile, the All Blacks are yet to confirm Sonny Bill Williams’ availability for selection. The NZRU are trying to sort out a short-term deal with his new Japanese club Panasonic Wild Knights, which will allow him to play in Sydney and the return match against the Wallabies in Auckland a week later.