New Zealand have opted to rest skipper Kieran Read for next weekend’s Rugby Championship match in Argentina.
Read is one of several players – along with Ngani Laumape, Dane Coles, Joe Moody, Brodie Retallick and Liam Squire – who will remain at home as the All Blacks seek to bounce back from a shock defeat to South Africa last time out.
Head coach Steve Hansen explained: “We always had a plan to manage Kieran’s long-haul travel this year, following his return to rugby after back surgery, so he’ll miss the trip to Argentina and re-join the squad in South Africa for the Test against the Springboks.”
Rieko and Akira Ioane, meanwhile, have each signed new long-term contracts with New Zealand Rugby and the Blues.
Why is Kieran Read not going to Argentina? What did the All Blacks learn from their loss to South Africa? Steve Hansen answers all of this and more before the squad flies to Buenos Aires to take on the Pumas. pic.twitter.com/oF6SrJVe02
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) September 21, 2018
Winger Rieko – World Rugby’s Breakthrough Player of the Year for 2017 – has agreed a new deal until the end of the 2022 season, while brother Akira is committed until 2021.
“I feel incredibly privileged to get the opportunity to play my rugby here for another four years,” said Rieko, who has scored 18 tries in as many international appearances for the All Blacks.
“I want to give it my best shot at serving the black jersey and, hopefully, I’ll get the chance to play at the Rugby World Cup in the future. That’s a huge motivator for me.
“Auckland is my home, it’s where I grew up and it’s the city that made me as a rugby player, so I want to do my bit to help it move forward.
“It will also be special sharing the next few years with my brother and representing our family out on the footy field.”
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