Ioane cleared of mumps

by AAP

Young All Blacks star Rieko Ioane is over a bout of mumps and will be fit to play France next Saturday, New Zealand rugby officials told AFP.

The 20-year-old winger missed last weekend's 31-22 win over the Barbarians at Twickenham after falling sick with the highly contagious glandular infection which is causing misery in New Zealand.

But sources with the All Blacks told AFP on Monday Ioane was cured, even though he was separated from the rest of the squad during the team's first training session in Paris.

"He had mumps last week but is better now," the source confirmed.

Ioane has scored nine tries in his 10 Tests so far -- six of which came as New Zealand swept to a second straight Rugby Championship title.

There is something of a mumps epidemic in New Zealand right now with 740 cases of mumps reported in Ioane's home city of Auckland this year, their worst outbreak since 1994.

Meanwhile, Injury has forced France into making a double player change to their giant squad ahead of their Test against the All Blacks in Paris.

France coach Guy Noves has brought in reinforcements. Photo: Getty ImagesCoach Guy Noves was forced to rule centre Remi Lamerat and uncapped prop Antoine Guillamon out of Saturday's clash, replaced by Gael Fickou and Mohamed Boughanmi respectively.

Toulouse flyer Fickou, 23, was a surprise omission from the original squad, having racked up 32 Test caps, including a bench appearance in last year's tense 24-19 loss to New Zealand in Paris.

Boughanmi's lone Test came this year against the Springboks in Pretoria.

Last week, New Zealand-born winger Virimi Vakatawa was ruled out with a sprained knee, replaced by Vincent Rattez.

The injury proved irrelevant as Vakatawa, who shone in last year's Paris clash, was later suspended for five weeks for a dangerous tackle which earned a red card during a club match for Racing 92.

Noves has been overseeing 46 players at Les Bleus' training base in Marcoussis.

Virimi Vakatawa is injured and suspended. Photo: Getty ImagesFourteen of them have already been signposted to play in a France XV to meet the midweek All Blacks in Lyon on Tuesday next week.

Nine more will join them when Noves announces his Test 23 on Thursday.

Meanwhile, doubt still hovers over the fitness of All Blacks Jerome Kaino, with an update expected on Tuesday.

Kaino suffered knee ligament damage in the 31-22 win over the Barbarians at Twickenham, leaving the veteran flanker in doubt not just for the Paris Test, but the remainder of the tour.

Flanker Matt Todd missed the Barbarians match with a groin niggle but is expected to be available.


France squad

Mathieu Bastareaud, Anthony Belleau, Hugo Bonneval, Mohamed Boughanmi, Judicael Cancoriet, Raphael Chaume, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Nans Ducuing, Antoine Dupont, Gael Fickou, Paul Gabrillagues, Kevin Gourdon, Guilhem Guirado, Yoann Huget, Anthony Jelonch, Daniel Kotze, Gabriel Lacroix, Felix Lambey, Clement Maynadier, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Damian Penaud, Louis Picamoles, Jefferson Poirot, Baptiste Serin, Rabah Slimani, Scott Spedding, Roman Taofifenua, Marco Tauleigne, Teddy Thomas, Christopher Tolofua, Francois Trinh-Duc, Sebastien Vahaamahina.

France XV

Camille Chat, Henry Chavancy, Gael Fickou, Malik Hamadache, Paul Jedrasiak, Bernard Le Roux, Yann Lesgourgues, Sekou Macalou, Maxime Machenaud, Yoanne Maestri, Jules Plisson, Lucas Pointud, Dany Priso, Vincent Rattez.