Joe Schmidt drafted in to help Covid-ravaged All Blacks

27/06/2022 08:48:00

Joe Schmidt drafted in to help Covid-ravaged All Blacks

Joe Schmidt drafted in to help Covid-ravaged All Blacks

Both coaches and players test positive ahead of first test as Maori All Blacks name squad for Wednesday

Expand Former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt will be helping the All Blacks in their preparation for the first Test.Centre Jack Goodhue is one of the four who have left camp.Expand Aer Lingus cancelled 13 flights, including flights to London and Faro in Portugal and from London and Amsterdam.Centre Jack Goodhue is one of the four who have left camp.

Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.By Gerry Thornley Mon Jun 27 2022 - 06:45 In a sensational development less than a week out from the first of the three-test series between New Zealand and Ireland, Joe Schmidt has been co-opted onto the All Blacks coaching ticket in light of head coach Ian Foster and assistant coaches John Plumtree and Scott McLeod all testing positive for Covid-19.Image: James Crombie/INPHO THE ALL BLACKS have been dealt a big blow ahead of next Saturday’s first Test against Ireland in Auckland after confirming that four members of their camp, including head coach Ian Foster, have tested positive for Covid-19.As a result, all three are isolating at home.Aer Lingus said the cancellations were due to “system pressures” as a result of air-traffic control strikes, as well as “ongoing issues at airports and among third party suppliers which regrettably necessitated the cancellation of some flights”.Schmidt was not due to start his role as a selector and analyst with the All Blacks until their opening games in the Rugby Championship away to the Springboks, but he will now attend the team’s training sessions in Auckland this week.Foster and Plumtree are now isolating at home, while Havili and Goodhue have also left the All Blacks’ camp.[ Mack Hansen tests positive for Covid-19 as Rob Herring and Iain Henderson pick up knocks ] The former Irish head coach will work with attack coach Brad Mooar and his one time Irish scrum coach Greg Feek, who are now poised to be in charge of the All Blacks up to, and potentially including, Saturday’s first Test in Eden Park (kick-off 7.Advertisement Havili and Goodhue were both strongly in contention to start against Ireland in the first Test at Eden Park.

05pm local time/8.The All Blacks have called up another Crusaders centre, Braydon Ennor, to their squad.Others complained that their replacement flights had also been cancelled, leading them to book new flights with different airlines.05am Irish).Schmidt was set to replace the long-serving All Blacks national selector Grant Fox, who is stepping down after the three-test series against Ireland, and is credited with making a major impact as a support coach for the Blues in their run to the Super Rugby Pacific final.With Foster and Plumtree isolating, attack coach Brad Mooar, defence coach Scott McLeod, and scrum coach scrum coach Greg Feek are set to lead the All Blacks’ preparations for the first clash with Ireland.Mooar was added to the All Blacks’ coaching ticket at the end of 2019 as attack coach after NZR were understood to have paid €150,000 in compensation to the Scarlets just one season into his three-year contract with the Welsh region.” Latest Stories.He was previously assistant coach at New Zealand’s Canterbury Crusaders and helped them to win three consecutive Super Rugby Cups from 2017 to 2019.Exclusive NZ - IRE Rugby Analysis Get Murray Kinsella's match analysis and Garry Doyle's updates from New Zealand exclusive to members Become a Member There are still options in midfield for the All Blacks, with Quinn Tupaea and rugby league convert Roger Tuivasa-Sheck competing for the number 12 shirt.Exclusive NZ - IRE Rugby Analysis Get Murray Kinsella's match analysis and Garry Doyle's updates from New Zealand exclusive to members Become a Member There are still options in midfield for the All Blacks, with Quinn Tupaea and rugby league convert Roger Tuivasa-Sheck competing for the number 12 shirt.

So, while these developments appear disruptive from the outside, they could also have a galvanising effect and Foster, who is monitoring preparations remotely, said he is very confident in the team’s ability to carry on preparing for the first Test.“We’ve had a plan for this happening, and it’s a great opportunity for the wider coaching group and the senior players, who will be highly motivated to step up.Rieko Ioane is the incumbent at outside centre, with Ennor, Tupaea, and the uncapped Leicester Fainga’anuku also capable of excelling there.” [ Versatile Jimmy O’Brien rides crest of the wave to potential Ireland debut ] “We have learned how to cope with the unexpected, like everyone has over the past couple of years.I will still be working alongside the coaches and team via Zoom and I have huge faith in the coaching group and the players.” “We have structures in place and everyone is working together.

” In response to suffering three defeats, by South Africa, Ireland and France, in a calendar year for the first time since 2009, Foster had added Waikato director of rugby Andrew Strawbridge to the All Blacks’ coaching ticket as a skills consultant, while veteran scrum coach Mike Cron was brought back as an informal mentor alongside Feek.So it’s not that the All Blacks will lack for off-field expertise.Nonetheless, in a further disruption, the midfield duo of David Havili and Jack Goodhue have also tested positive and are also not with the team in Auckland, while their Crusaders teammate Braydon Ennor has been added to the squad.Havili had been expected to start against Ireland at inside centre along with either Reiko Ioane or Goodhue.Foster and his assistants will now most likely play Jordie Barrett, or possibly the uncapped Blues centre Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, inside Ioane.

Meanwhile, Maori All Blacks Head Coach Clayton McMillan has named what appears to be a very strong blend of experience and rising young talent, including ten debutants, in the side to face Ireland in their opening tour at the FMG Stadium in Hamilton on Wednesday (kick-off 7.05pm local time/8.05am Irish).TJ Perenara will start on the bench for the Maori All-Blacks.Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images (Hagen Hopkins/Getty) The match day squad features ten players who will be making their debuts for the Maori All Blacks, including the demoted All Blacks scrumhalves Brad Weber and TJ Perenara, with the former starting and the latter finishing the game as the team’s co-captains.

The side is drawn entirely from players who have featured with New Zealand’s five Super Rugby franchises this season, many of them prominently and in strong form The frontrow is an experienced unit made up of Ollie Norris, Kurt Eklund and Tyrel Lomax, while the back-up props are Tamaiti Williams, who reinforced the Crusaders’ scrum dominance over the Blues in the Super Rugby final, and the 26-year-old Hurricanes tight-head Jermaine Ainsley, who won the last of his three Australian caps in 2018.[ ‘They’re playing for their people, so are our lads’ - Tipoki shows Farrell similarities between Ireland and Maori ] The Maoris seem well equipped to establish a firm foothold up front, all the more so with the dynamic 22-year-old Cullen Grace, who has established himself as the Crusaders’ first-choice number eight this year.The 21-year-old Zarn Sullivan, an outhalf by inclination who has flourished at fullback with the Blues this season given the presence of Beauden Barrett at 10, has been named at 15.Touted as an All Black of the future, he could be in line to play with his 23-year-old brother Bailyn for the first time given he has been named among a potent-looking bench which also features the latter’s 21-year-old Hurricanes teammate Ruben Love.“We are anticipating a huge challenge from Ireland on Wednesday.

They are a top tier, physical team, with a strong defence,” said McMillan.“Having Weber and Perenara as co-captains ensures there is always strong leadership on the field, especially against the unrelenting Ireland side.For our debut players, this will be a proud moment to not only represent this team, but their whanau (extended family) and their iwi (tribes).” “It will be a great opportunity for us to showcase Maori rugby internationally, it has been 12 years since the Maori All Blacks last played Ireland,” McMillan said in reference to their 31-28 win over Ireland in Rotorua in 2010.Tapaina Tīma! ▪️ Brad Weber & TJ Perenara named as Kāpene Paheko (co-captains) ▪️ Sullivan brothers named to play together for first time.

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