NEWSDESK: All Black coach Graham Henry could not rule out a link between the All Blacks’ injury toll and the full contact jousting sessions that took place in closed door training this week. “People have questioned the wisdom of the boys going 25Ks an hour at each other on horseback carrying heavy lances, trying knock each other off by way of a blow to the head or torso during the world cup,” said Henry, adding: “We did give them shields.”
Dan Carter, Richie McCaw, Mils Muliaina and Israel Dagg are all out injured after taking part in the ancient martial sport that gained popularity in the 12th century, while Richard Kahui, who has a suspected broken face, is bracketed with Zac Guilford. “You have to balance the strength and hand-eye co-ordination benefits jousting training provides with the risk of spraining, crushing and stabbing injuries,” said Henry. “We’re reviewing it.”
Steve Hanson said he had good results with jousting training with Canterbury. “You learn a lot about your team mates when they’re trying to put a hole in you. Everyone wanted to have a go against Justin Marshall for some reason – shit, some of the boys have asked if he’s available now.”
Hanson denied reports Andrew Hore had gone rogue somewhere in Hamilton’s north western suburbs with a mace.