All Blacks veteran Mealamu a fitness doubt for Ireland clash

All Blacks veteran Keven Mealamu is facing a battle to keep his place for the June test series against Ireland.

The hooker has suffered a series of calf injuries in a season where he has only played six games for the Blues and has not played since he limped off in a club game early last month.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen revealed the 92-test hooker had a recurrence of the injury two weeks ago and his management were waiting for further scans and to see how Mealamu coped with the first day of the extended squad’s training camp. “Kevvie is a bit of a worry with that calf, there may be an issue arising there,” Hansen said.

“Clearly if things don’t go well we will have to bring in another player.”

But they will definitely have to pick another squad member after Cory Jane joined Richard Kahui as the second winger in the casualty ward. Jane is out for six weeks with a damaged ankle while Kahui is hoping his exit with a shoulder problem will last only that long.

Hansen said the lead-in to the test programme which starts against Ireland at Eden Park on June 9, had seemed drawn-out and he and his staff were keen to get into action.


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