It's bad news for the All Blacks - Plumtree doubtful over Coles fitness


Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree provided a pessimistic update regarding Dane Coles' fitness on Tuesday, acknowledging the New Zealand hooker could miss the entire series with the British and Irish Lions.

Coles has not played since March, with his return from knee and calf injuries delayed by concussion symptoms.

The 30-year-old - rated by many as the best hooker in world rugby - will remain on the sidelines when the Hurricanes face the Chiefs in Wellington on Friday.

Plumtree told 1 News Now: "With Colesy there's still no change, so it's still just week to week at the moment. We won't be seeing him this weekend."

Asked if he thought the forward would be available for the first Test against the Lions, which takes place on June 24, Plumtree replied: "It's hard to say, because the whole concussion thing is so grey.

"He hasn't been able to train hard enough at this stage. It's hard to say whether he'll be available for any of the Tests or the first Test.

"It's bad news for the All Blacks, it's bad news for all of New Zealand."

Another All Black, Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick, will also miss this week's Super Rugby match in Wellington due to concussion, but is anticipated to be fit for the Lions Tests.