Blame the Welsh: illness takes down rugby’s NZ All Blacks

Just 48 hours before the final test of an arduous season, almost all of the All Blacks have been struck down by sickness.

Only two members of the extended 34-man playing squad escaped the potentially debilitating bug, which first swept through the team in Cardiff last week.

Coach Steve Hansen said, “It’s been a difficult week with a lot of people being sick. We’ve had guys go down with diarrhea and vomiting. There’s only two that have missed out. Just getting that mix right has been difficult. Hopefully we’ve been smart enough to keep the energy tank full. … Apparently half of the UK has got it. Hang around here long enough and we’ll give it to you,” he joked to media.

All Blacks No 8 Kieran Read said, “Personally I’m feeling a lot better today. I know the boys had a good guided tour of their bathrooms yesterday on their day off.”

The sickness shouldn’t be anything like the “Suzie the waitress” food poisoning that ripped through Laurie Mains’ All Blacks before the 1995 World Cup final.