NEW ZEALAND'S tour troubles continued in Sydney yesterday with the All Blacks calling for their third replacement in five days. Just days after losing the treasured Bledisloe Cup symbol of trans-Tasman rugby supremacy to Australia, the embattled All Blacks summoned Pat Lam, Western Samoa's No 8 at last year's World Cup.
Lam was due to arrive last night after the No 8, Arran Pene, was diagnosed with minor medial knee ligament damage, exposing an already second-string back row.
Lam's call-up closely followed that of breakaway Glenn Taylor, who answered an SOS for Jamie Joseph, who has hamstring problems. Of the seven loose forwards originally brought on tour, only two are still playing Zinzan Brooke and Michael Jones.
The coach, Laurie Mains, will not risk Brooke and Jones before Saturday's third international in Sydney. Paul Henderson, Michael Brewer and Kevin Schuler have returned home and Pene and Joseph are recovering from injuries.
The All Blacks play their final midweek match tonight against Sydney.
The back row forward trio will comprise Dallas Seymour, who arrived on Monday to replace Schuler, Andy Earl, who arrived on Friday to replace Brewer, and either Taylor or Lam. While Seymour and Earl will go to South Africa with the All Blacks after the Australian tour, Taylor and Lam are expected to fly home after Saturday's Test.
Other changes in the All Blacks side include a rejigged backline in which the full-back, Matthew Cooper, moves to inside centre, which was previously covered by Eroni Clarke. He will play on the right wing with flanker-cum-winger Eric Rush swapping sides and Terry Wright moving back to full-back.
New Zealand have delayed a decision on whether to punish the prop forward, Richard Loe, for alleged foul play in last Sunday's second Test against Australia. Loe made a late tackle on Australian winger Paul Carozza, who suffered a broken nose in the incident. No action was taken against Loe by the referee.
SYDNEY: T Kelaher; D Junee, R Tombs, L Walker, P Jorgensen; T Wallace, A Ekert; M Hartill, M Bell, A Blades, W Waugh, T Kava, S Poidevin, M Brial, T Gavin. Replacements: K O'Kane, P Jeff, T Dempsey, J Allan, S Payne, A Murdock.
NEW ZEALAND: T Wright; E Clarke, M Ellis, M Cooper, E Rush; S Bachop, J Preston; S McDowell, G Dowd, G Purvis, M Cooksley, B Larsen, D Seymour, A Earl, G Taylor or P Lam. Replacements: A Strachan, W Little, J Kirwan, R Loe, R Brooke, G Taylor or P Lam.Reuse content