Coles out of Bledisloe opener after head knock

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles will not feature in the opening Bledisloe, after another head knock.

The Hurricanes rake has battled concussion issues for much of the season and had another setback in New Zealand's warm-up game against two counties.

Coles played six Super Rugby games this season and missed the entire June Series, before returning for the Hurricanes' quarter-final against the Brumbies.

His club back-up, Ricky Riccitelli, will join the squad this week as Coles's replacement.

Crusaders hooker Codie Taylor started as hooker for the All Blacks against the British and Irish Lions in June and would seem the most likely option for Saturday's Test.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has also released outside backs Nehe Milner-Skudder and David Havili.

The Wallabies take on New Zealand on Saturday in Sydney, kicking off at 8pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten and via SPORT.