All Blacks captain Sam Cane could miss the pivotal Rugby Championship clash with Australia in Auckland at the weekend after taking only a limited part in training as he recovers from a head injury.
Cane came off after a blow to the head early in New Zealand’s 39-37 win over Australia in Melbourne on Thursday when the All Blacks secured the Bledisloe Cup for the 20th season in a row.
Coach Ian Foster said Cane had passed a head injury assessment (HIA) after the match, but New Zealand’s captain broke off early from Tuesday’s training session.
There are doubts also over centre David Havili, who also came off in the win over Australia with a head knock.
All Blacks forward Jason Ryan would not be drawn on the fitness of the pair.
“The boys with HIAs are going through their protocols,” Ryan told reporters in Auckland.
“We’ll do everything we can to get that right.
“There will be no risks at all.”
The destiny of this year’s Rugby Championship crown will go to this weekend’s final round of matches with New Zealand and South Africa tied on 14 points at the top of the table.
New Zealand last lost to Australia at Eden Park in 1986, but should the All Blacks slip up, the Springboks will be waiting to take advantage when they play Argentina in Durban later on Saturday. If both win, then the title could be decided on points difference.
Cane has started all eight Tests this season, leading the All Blacks to four wins and four defeats.
If he is ruled out, loose forward Ardie Savea is in line to take over the All Blacks captaincy as he returns after missing the first Australia Test because of the birth of his third child.
© Agence France-Presse
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