Chiefs and Taranaki centre Seta Tamanivalu has been called into the All Blacks tour to replace George Moala whose elbow injury in the 29-40 loss to Ireland had resulted in him returning to New Zealand on Monday.
Moala pulled the ligaments and tendons off his elbow and won’t not need an operation. Ryan Crotty’s hamstring injury was likely to recover by the last game of the tour against France so he will stay with the tour.
Tamanivalu would join the side in London en route to Rome as he was already in England with the Barbarians.
It was a great opportunity for him, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said, because he had been in and out of the side and while the injury issues were a hindrance they also represented a great opportunity to develop the depth of the side.
Reflecting on the loss on Sunday, Hansen said in recent times Ireland should probably have won in Christchurch in 2012 and then in Dublin a year later.
“They’ve come out this time and played really well and won the game,” he told the All Blacks’ official website.
“I don’t think it’s something that is going to hang round our necks and strangle us to death that we have lost to a good Ireland side.
“What we’ve got to fix is the issues in our game.”
Playing Jerome Kaino at lock would be an issue for some people but Hansen said the scrum was ‘really good’, and although there hadn’t been too many scrums in the first half, Kaino scrummed well.
“The lineout wasn’t his problem,” added Hansen.
“The lineout was a throwing problem and Colesy [Dane Coles] has been throwing really well all year so we’re not going to lose too much sleep over that. We’ll get that sorted pretty quickly.
“The role of playing in that middle of the park role was new to him [Kaino] and he probably over-thought it a wee bit and therefore didn’t carry as strongly as he possibly could. Before the match you would say that would be his strength.”