KEO News Wire

All Blacks draft in Riccitelli and Hemopo, Barrett not risked for third Test

Uncapped duo Ricky Riccitelli and Jackson Hemopo have been added to the New Zealand squad for the final Test against France, while Beauden Barrett will not make the trip to Dunedin.

Hurricanes hooker Riccitelli has been drafted in as cover for Nathan Harris, who headed home for the birth of his first child after the All Blacks beat Les Bleus 26-13 in Wellington on Saturday to wrap up the series with a match to spare.

Highlanders lock Hemopo will provide cover for Vaea Fifita and Liam Squire, who are doubts due to concussion and a shoulder injury respectively.

Talismanic fly-half Barrett is also suffering from symptoms of concussion after a collision with Benjamin Fall as he attempted to take a high ball, resulting in a red card for the France full-back.

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen said: “There’s no point putting him under extra pressure of the travel, when he can stay at home and rest and come down tomorrow or not come down at all. We won’t take any risk with him.”

The world champions will attempt to pull off a whitewash at Forsyth Barr Stadium next Saturday. News wire is powered by opta

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