All Black unfamiliar with Poms

2014-06-03 12:14
Brodie Retallick (AFP)
Cape Town - All Black lock Brodie Retallick was left slightly embarrassed when he was unable to name a single player in the England team set to face New Zealand.

New Zealand host England in three back-to-back Tests this month, with the first match to be played in Auckland this Saturday.

Retallick, 23, stunned reporters on Tuesday when asked if he knew any England players ahead of Saturday's series opener at Eden Park.

According to the Guardian's website, Retallick's first answer was "a couple". When pressed for a name, he said: "Michael Lawes".

Retallick appeared to mean Courtney Lawes, who is en route to New Zealand having helped Northampton win the English Premiership final last weekend and is unavailable for the first Test.

Meanwhile, the All Blacks received a blow ahead of Saturday's Test when loose forward Kieran Read was withdrawn due to ongoing concerns over concussion-like symptoms.

Fellow loose forward Sam Cane has also been ruled out with a knee injury and won't be available for all three Tests.

Wing Julian Savea is also a doubt for the opening clash at Eden Park with a long-standing knee injury that will require a scan later on Tuesday.

Read has suffered two concussions this year and sat out six weeks of Super Rugby as he recuperated from the second injury, which he received playing for the Crusaders against the Chiefs in April.

Read has been replaced in the squad by Steven Luatua, though the Blues player, who missed the initial squad, is unlikely to start with Jerome Kaino or Victor Vito expected to play No 8 in Read's absence.

Liam Messam is likely to stay at blindside flank after impressing there over the last two seasons.

Cane will be replaced by the Crusaders' Matt Todd, who has not played for a month due to a calf injury.

Read more on:    all blacks  |  kieran read  |  rugby

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