Kiwis refuse to give up on Blair - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kiwis refuse to give up on Blair

By Steve Jancetic 05/05/2011 03:48:42 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney is refusing to give up hope of having Adam Blair available for Friday night's clash against Australia despite the backrower sitting out the team's final training run.

Blair stayed behind at the team hotel to undergo further treatment on his injured ankle as his teammates went through their paces at Skilled Park, Kearney claiming a decision on Blair's availability would be made on Thursday night.

Asked if Blair had been ruled out, with Warriors utility Lewis Brown on standby, Kearney said: "Not as yet - we'll give him as late as possible to give him a chance for tomorrow night.

"We'll make a decision on that tonight.

"He's a lot better this morning, so we're hopeful."

Nathan Fien also took no part in the session because of his sore hamstring but Kearney declared him a definite starter.

Earlier, Kiwi team doctor Simon Mayhew said Blair - the most experienced of the New Zealand forwards - would be forced to complete a fitness test to remain in the starting line-up.

"He'll have to run tomorrow (Friday) or it's over, but he's been saying he'll be OK," team doctor Simon Mayhew told NZPA.

Kiwi skipper Benji Marshall admitted it would be a major blow to his side's chances of springing an upset if Blair did not pull through.

"Losing Adam Blair from any side is a big loss," Marshall said.

"I'm pretty confident he'll play, but if Lewis does come in, we're all confident in Lewis' ability as well."

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