All Blacks COVID outbreak grows ahead of Ireland test

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A COVID-19 outbreak that has hit the All Blacks squad ahead of Saturday’s first rugby test against Ireland has broadened and winger Will Jordan has become the third player and sixth squad member affected.

Head coach Ian Foster, assistants John Plumtree and Scott McLeod and players David Havili and Jack Goodhue already are isolating after testing positive.

Jordan, who was certain to start in Saturday’s test at Auckland’s Eden Park, was added to the list of affected players on Tuesday.

His loss is a major blow to the All Blacks who already face the prospect of a backline reshuffle because of the loss of midfielders Havili and Goodhue. Jordan has scored 17 tries in 13 appearances for New Zealand and scored 10 tries during Super Rugby Pacific this season.

His place in New Zealand’s starting 15 likely will go to his Crusaders teammate Sevu Reece.

Assistant coaches Greg Feek and Brad Mooar currently are coaching the All Blacks team while Foster, Plumtree and McLeod isolate at home. Former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, who was due to join the team later this year, has started early to assist the depleted coaching group.


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