Rugby - Whitelock rushed back for All Blacks despite broken finger

Lock Sam Whitelock has been rushed back into the All Blacks starting side for the second Test against France on Saturday after Brodie Retallick was ruled out with a hamstring strain.

Reuters

Whitelock, who had been ruled out of the first two tests in order to recover from a broken finger, was brought back after Retallick took little part in training on Thursday and was treated by medical staff before limping away with an ice pack strapped to the back of his leg.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had initially said Whitelock, who suffered the injury playing for his Canterbury Crusaders in Super Rugby, would only be considered for the third test in New Plymouth next week, but the 24-year-old World Cup winner had slotted into Retallick's position at training on Thursday.

The uncapped Jeremy Thrush, who was intially brought into the extended training squad when veteran Ali Williams retired from internationals, remains on the bench for the game at Rugby League Park.

The All Blacks won the first game 23-13 at Eden Park last week but face a French pack that have been strengthened with the return of veteran tighthead prop Nicolas Mas.

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