Dane Coles set to be named in New Zealand squad despite concussion concerns

He hasn't played competitively in six weeks

BY Simon Maguire 17:00 Saturday 27 May 2017, 17:00 27 May 2017

Ireland’s Josh Van der Flier is tackled by New Zealand All Blacks Dane Coles. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

New Zealand head coach is set to name hooker Dan Coles in his squad to face the Lions next month despite lingering concerns over a concussion.

The All Black stalwart hasn't played competitively in six weeks after injuring himself playing for the Hurricanes in March, suffering a head knock but will be named in the squad.

He has since been diagnosed as suffering from a concussion.

The 30-year-old has been the starting hooker for the national side since 2014 and head coach Steve Hansen will name him in his squad for the test series regardless of his condition.

 "We'll name him, obviously, because he's our number one hooker," Hansen told Tony Veteich. "If he's not right, he won't play, but he deserves to be named.

Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip and Dane Coles of New Zealand. Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

"He could come right, and we might have him back for the first test, second test or third test.

"We won't just chuck him in the deep end. He'll have to do some training to get him reconditioned to be able to play rugby but if he's not right, he's not right. He's got an injury that takes time, so we'll take the time with him."

The All Blacks are currently sweating on a number of injury concerns with the test series fast approaching. 

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