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Sam Whitelock, Tupou Vaai ruled out of second New Zealand vs Ireland Test live on Sky Sports | Rugby Union News

Sam Cane: “We’ll no doubt miss his [Whitelock’s] leadership, and then Tupou had been playing well all Super Rugby”; watch the second Test between New Zealand and Ireland on Saturday July 9, live on Sly Sports Action from 7:30am; kick-off 8.05am

Last Updated: 06/07/22 10:15am

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New Zealand skipper Sam Cane says the All Blacks will miss Sam Whitelock’s leadership in the second Test against Ireland. Tupou Vaai will miss the game with Covid-19

New Zealand skipper Sam Cane says the All Blacks will miss Sam Whitelock’s leadership in the second Test against Ireland. Tupou Vaai will miss the game with Covid-19

The All Blacks will be without starting second row Sam Whitelock and his likely replacement Tupou Vaai for their Test vs Ireland on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

Whitelock, who has 133 Test caps for New Zealand and captained them during the autumn, started alongside Brodie Retallick in first Test victory last week, but misses out due to concussion.

Vaai, who many expected to come in to replace Whitelock, has also been ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19.

As a result, the All Blacks have recalled former Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu, who recently returned from a sabbatical in Japan.

New Zealand skipper Sam Cane admitted the absences were not ideal preparation to face Andy Farrell’s side in Dunedin.

Cane said: “Sammy was awesome at the weekend and became the second most capped All Black of all time, which is hugely impressive.

Sam Whitelock will miss Saturday's second New Zealand vs Ireland Test, live on Sky Sports, due to concussion

Sam Whitelock will miss Saturday’s second New Zealand vs Ireland Test, live on Sky Sports, due to concussion

“We’ll no doubt miss his leadership and what he brings, and then Tupou had been playing well all Super Rugby and was hanging out for his opportunity.

“So it’s a tough pill for him to swallow but it’s almost got to the stage where anyone who hasn’t had it…it’s lurking and it’s going to strike soon and poor ‘Tuups’ had to get it this week.

“But in terms of replacements we’ve got a 40-odd Test All Black in Patrick Tuipulotu to bring in. He trained with us last week too which was awesome. He’s up to speed and has slipped in pretty seamlessly.”

Highlights from Eden Park as New Zealand welcomed Ireland.

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Highlights from Eden Park as New Zealand welcomed Ireland.

Highlights from Eden Park as New Zealand welcomed Ireland.

Cane added there is no pressure on Will Jordan, David Havili and Jack Goodhue to return on Saturday after all three missed the series opener due to Covid.

The trio were absent for the hosts’ 42-19 win over the Irish in Auckland last weekend but trained on Tuesday ahead of the second match in the three-Test series.

“There is absolutely no pressure from players, management, coaches or anyone for them to rush back,” Cane said.

“They were on a bike yesterday with some sort of heart-rate monitor measuring how they respond to exercise.

“So all the precautions are being taken there. The last thing anyone would want is to risk them getting long Covid.

“There’s no pressure and they’ll have a few boxes to tick during the week to even be available I think.”

Will Greenwood reflects on Ireland's recent Test defeat to New Zealand, where Andy Farrell's men struggled despite taking an early lead

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Will Greenwood reflects on Ireland’s recent Test defeat to New Zealand, where Andy Farrell’s men struggled despite taking an early lead

Will Greenwood reflects on Ireland’s recent Test defeat to New Zealand, where Andy Farrell’s men struggled despite taking an early lead

The All Blacks camp was hit by the Covid outbreak in the build-up to the first Test, with coach Ian Foster among those to test positive.

Bumper July of rugby on Sky Sports

Saturday, July 9

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)

Tuesday, July 12

Maori All Blacks vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 8am (kick off is at 8.05am)

Saturday, July 16

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)

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