Rugby Championship

All Blacks lose Savea to mumps

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Ardie Savea (Getty Images)
Ardie Savea (Getty Images)

Cape Town - New Zealand were dealt a blow ahead of Saturday's Test against Wales in Cardiff after it was revealed that flank Ardie Savea will miss the match due to mumps.

Kick-off is at 19:15 SA time.

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Savea is the third member of the All Blacks squad who has contracted the illness - after wing Rieko Ioane and centre Jack Goodhue - and has been put into isolation at the All Blacks' training camp.

New Zealand currently have a mumps epidemic with record numbers of cases in Auckland in their worst outbreak since 1994.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said, however, no other member of the world champions' squad is currently stricken with the highly-contagious viral disease.

"Ardie has got a mild dose of the mumps," Foster told reporters in Cardiff on Tuesday.

"He is the only one. He is in his room and has been in isolation.

"He was fully vaccinated as a kid, but he clearly has something. He has been in isolation for a few days and is recovering pretty quickly."

Foster said the All Blacks' medical staff believe Savea had caught mumps from Ioane, who received treatment for the virus earlier on tour.

"We are not worried about it (spreading)," he added. 

"We have taken every precaution, but Ardie must have been in pretty close proximity to Rieko at some point.

"It has caught us on the hop a bit because it is not something you get a lot of.

"It has come out of the blue, but we are satisfied with the way the doctor reacted really quickly with Rieko, and Ardie was susceptible even though he had done everything right in the past. It is something we are taking seriously."

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