All Blacks sweating on Sam Cane

Sam Cane (Getty Images)
Sam Cane (Getty Images)

Auckland - New Zealand are sweating over the fitness of openside flank Sam Cane ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship Test with Australia in Auckland. 

The 26-year-old was a peripheral figure at the All Blacks' captain's run at Eden Park on Friday and took little part in proceedings due to a knee injury. 

All Blacks captain Kieran Read said Cane was still on course to play against the Wallabies, but it wouldn't surprise to see Ardie Savea lining up in the second Bledisloe Cup showdown. 

The world champions are thin on specialist cover for openside flank.

Matt Todd is playing Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan's Top League which means that it's possible that Shannon Frizell, who was participating in the All Blacks' training session on Friday, could come on to the replacements bench if Cane is forced to withdraw from the match day squad. 

"It's just precautionary and he's having a day off today," Read told the New Zealand Herald. 

"At the moment he's still good to go." 

The All Blacks are usually up-front about injuries so it's possible that they are giving Cane as much time as possible to prove his fitness.

Teams:

New Zealand

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Substitute: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown

Australia

15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lukhan Tui, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes: 16 Folau Faingaa, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Tom Banks

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