Video: Dedicated Rieko Ioane keeps himself fit on the bike after tour-ending injury

All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane showed off his dedication to the black jersey in Cardiff this morning, training with the rest of his side despite being ruled out of this weekend's Test with Wales.

Ioane, 20, injured his shoulder in last week's win over Scotland in Edinburgh, ending his end of year tour.

However, instead of choosing to travel back to New Zealand to rest, the young winger has remained with the squad for the Cardiff Test match.

The youngster took part in a gym session with his teammates, putting in the hard yards on the bike alongside the likes of Anton Lienert-Brown, Ryan Crotty and Sonny Bill Williams.

The All Blacks' youngster still hit the gym this morning, after being ruled out of facing Wales. Source: 1 NEWS


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Watch: Injury-free Dane Coles makes flying return to rugby, sets up Wellington try with first touch in 11 months

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles has made a successful return to rugby after 11 months of injury setbacks, turning back the clock to set up a try with his first touch in Wellington's win over Taranaki.

Coles hasn't been seen on a rugby field since last November after he seriously injured his knee against France during the All Blacks' end-of-year tour. Further issues involving his hamstring and calf ruled him out of any Super Rugby action with the Hurricanes and delayed his comeback.

But all those issues appeared to be behind him last night as the 56-Test hooker took the field for 16 minutes in Wellington's Mitre 10 Cup match against the Bulls.

Moments after taking the field, Coles chased down a deflected kick and quickly set up a ruck inches from Taranaki's line before replacement front rower Sitiveni Paongo crashed over to score in the next phase.

Wellington went on to win the game 34-10, sealing Taranaki's relegation fate as the Bulls ended their woeful season on a low.


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'It's been one of those years' - All Blacks prop Joe Moody positive ahead of fourth injury comeback of 2018

All Blacks prop Joe Moody is itching to return to action for Canterbury this weekend, after an injury ravaged 12 months.

After missing the second half of 2017 with a shoulder injury, Moody was most recently struck down this year with a broken thumb, while also suffering injuries to his finger and knee.

However, preparing for his fourth return from injury this year alone, Moody is looking forward to gearing up for Canterbury against Counties Manukau in Pukekohe this weekend, looking to prove his fitness before the All Blacks' end of year tour.

"It's been one of those years for me," Moody told Stuff.

I haven't been able to string a lot of games together. But, at the same time, from now, it's just all on the way up."

Moody's time on the sideline hasn't had too much of a negative affect on the All Blacks though, with Karl Tu'inukuafe emerging as a contender for the number one jersey. Moody though, welcomes the competition.

"Karl is going well and there is no guarantees in sport. I've just been doing everything I can at my end. Keep fit, keep strong."

"Hopefully I can get out on the field and put some good performances in and get my spot back."

Moody won't be the only All Black making their return from injury this weekend, with fellow prop Nepo Laulala to line up against him for Canterbury, while hooker Dane Coles will be hoping to appear for Wellington off the bench.

Joe Moody leaves the field injured
Joe Moody leaves the field injured Source: Photosport


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'It will change a few lives' - Lima Sopoaga using English payday to help family

Former All Blacks first-five Lima Sopoaga has opened up about his decision to trade the black jersey for financial security, leaving New Zealand for English side Wasps earlier this year.

Sopoaga, 27, became yet another All Black to head abroad, signing a lucrative deal with English Premiership side Wasps, forgoing the chance to turn out for New Zealand at next year's World Cup in Japan.

In an interview with The Times though, Sopoaga says that the financial security on offer from the English club was too great to turn down.

"To come over here, to uproot my partner [Miriam] and daughter [Milla, aged one] was a very big decision," Sopoaga said.

"But in the long run, it will be the right one. Guys in New Zealand who are second or third string, we're not getting paid the same as the Beauden Barretts.

"I fell into that category, I've no qualms about it, that's the way it goes."

Sopoaga also said that his English payday is going towards helping his extended family, rather than on extravagant purchases.

"I'm not just playing for myself over here, it's about making a better life for my family, making Mum and Dad's life a bit easier, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews.

"Now, if I'm smart and make the right choices, if I'm not buying stupid cars and stuff like that, this money will be put to good use. It won't just change my life, it will change a few lives."

Sopoaga concluded by saying he has no regrets about his exit from New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks jersey.

"Yeah, you can say, who wouldn't want to play 50 Tests and go to a World Cup?"

But I've been an All Black, it was an awesome part of my life. But life's not always that simple and it's time to write a new chapter."

Lima Sopoaga celebrates against South Africa
Lima Sopoaga celebrates against South Africa Source: Photosport


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Dane Coles prepares for long-awaited return to action - ‘He'll bring some fire and niggle off the bench’

It's been almost a year since he was last seen on the rugby field, but Dane Coles is finally set to make his long-awaited return from injury.

The 56-time capped All Black hooker hasn't played since last November, but will come off the bench in Wellington's crucial Mitre 10 Cup clash against Taranaki tomorrow night.

The plan is for him to have 20 minutes off the bench in the final round robin game of the season.

It's been close to a year since Coles injured his knee against France.

"Having played with him for a few years, it's really encouraging and I'm really pumped to have him back in the team," said fellow front row forward Jeff Toomaga-Allen.

"And I know he'll bring some fire and niggle off the bench." 

The All Blacks hooker will turn out for Wellington tomorrow, having not played since last November. Source: 1 NEWS


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