Dane Coles to miss Bledisloe Cup opener against Wallabies

Dane Coles has suffered another injury setback
Dane Coles has suffered another injury setback
©PA

New Zealand will miss the services of Dane Coles in the first of the Bledisloe Cup contest against Australia after suffering a head injury.

The 30-year-old sustained the blow during the practice game against Pukekohe on Friday as confirmed by New Zealand coach Steve Hansen, who also expects Coles to be available for the Dunedin clash against the same opponents.

"He'd be able to play if we really wanted him to, but we're taking a precautious route, so we've withdrawn him from playing," said Hansen to www.stuff.co.nz.

"He's over here, he's going to train with us. Nothing too serious but enough to say that we don't want to play him. He should be available for Dunedin.

"He's a bit frustrated as he wants to play, but the doc doesn't want him to, so we're supporting the doc."

Coles was recently recovering from a concussion that he sustained earlier this year while playing for his club Hurricanes and was forced to miss the three match Test series against British and Irish Lions that finished in a 1-1 draw.

Former New Zealand Under 20 and Coles' Hurricanes team-mate Ricky Riccitelli has been named as the replacement for the Saturday's game in Sydney.

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