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Read and Savea set to return for All Blacks


Julian Savea and Kieran Read are in line to return for the All Blacks

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Article Published: Sunday 8 June 2014


IRB player of the year for 2013 Kieran Read and winger Julian Savea are in line to return to the All Blacks side for the second Test against England.

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen says that Savea "should be okay" having shook off a knee injury that kept him out of the 20-15 victory over England at Eden Park.

Meanwhile All Black No.8 Read has not had any further concussion related symptom that have seen him miss five weeks of Super Rugby and the opening Test.

Hansen did however say that he would not be taking any chances with his star loose forward and vice captain.

"Kieran is training pretty well at the moment " Hansen told Stuff.

"He did an hour and a half yesterday with no signs or symptoms, so its just a matter of, with his lack of games, whether we chuck him back in or do the safer thing and give him a week of training and hold him back and save him for the third test," said Hansen.

"It'd be nice to have him because he's a great player but we have to think about the whole year, and him. We'll make that decision once we get down to Dunedin. We'll get Monday out of the way and Tuesday then we'll have a far better idea."

Hansen is playing his selection cards close to his chest but if fit Read can be expected to start at No 8 which would create a selection dilemma with what to do about Jerome Kaino who is in top form and incumbent blindside flanker Liam Messam.

The All Black coach said that the only injury concern was fullback Israel Dagg who came off in the second half with a sore thigh.

Hansen said that Dagg's injury was related to a patella knee problem that he has been struggling with for a month.

"He's been playing on it and it only really effects his kicking," explained Hansen.

"That's something we'll look at this week and decide whether we need to keep pushing that and limiting his training load on it, or we make some changes and let him have a week off and get it right."

If Dagg fails to regain fitness Highlanders fullback Ben Smith could fill in or Beauden Barrett who replaced Dagg in Auckland.

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