Guildford called into All Blacks squad
Canterbury Crusaders winger Zac Guildford has been called into the All Blacks training squad.
WELLINGTON - Canterbury Crusaders winger Zac Guildford has been called into the All Blacks training squad ahead of their June test series against Ireland after two players were ruled out with injury.
The 23-year-old has been brought into the squad for two training camps in Auckland and Wellington for the injured Richard Kahui, who dislocated his shoulder last week against the Queensland Reds.
On Saturday, Wellington Hurricanes winger Cory Jane was also ruled out of the three-test series starting on 9 June after he sustained a high ankle sprain against the ACT Brumbies on Friday. He is expected to be out for at least six weeks.
World Cup winner Guildford and the uncapped Julian Savea are the only specialist wingers in the training squad, which will be trimmed to 30 players on 3 June.
Hansen had said when he named the initial 35-man squad that he felt the versatile Kahui would play on the wing, having spent much of the World Cup there and as veteran Conrad Smith has a virtual stranglehold on Kahui's preferred centre position.
Kahui and Jane's injuries, however, left a dearth of experience in the position and Hansen told local media in Auckland the selectors would now determine whether they named a specialist winger or another utility-type player for the camps.
"We thought initially we'd just bring in a specialist, but now we've lost both of them we might go for someone else who can give us a bit more cover," Hansen was reported as saying by Fairfax Media in Auckland.
Hansen also said there was a concern over Auckland Blues' hooker Keven Mealamu's lingering calf injury and he would need to undergo a fitness test.