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Last Updated: Monday, 3 July 2006, 06:39 GMT 07:39 UK
Nonu to miss most of Tri-Nations
Ma'a Nonu
Nonu played at centre in the first Test against Ireland
All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu will miss most of the Tri-Nations series after breaking his left thumb.

Nonu faces at least six weeks on the sidelines after sustaining the injury playing club rugby for Wellington.

He will definitely miss the first three matches of New Zealand's Tri-Nations campaign, which begins against Australia in Christchurch on Saturday.

Midfield is a problem area for New Zealand and Mils Muliaina is likely to start at centre against the Wallabies.

Former captain Tana Umaga retired in January while Conrad Smith broke his leg in February and is not expected back until later this year.

We have to keep raising the bar and demand a high standard

All Blacks manager Darren Shand

Nonu played at centre in New Zealand's opening Test of the year against Ireland, Casey Laulala filled the role in the second Irish Test and Isaia Toeava wore the number 13 jersey against Argentina last week.

Meanwhile, the All Blacks have been given a stern lecture by team management to ward off complacency ahead of the Tri-Nations.

Team manager Darren Shand held a three-hour meeting with the players to "put a dictate down" after unconvincing displays against Ireland and Argentina.

"We don't think the way we prepared was good enough, that's right across the group," Shand said.

"We have to keep raising the bar and demand a high standard. We don't think we had those levels previously."



SEE ALSO
Thorne back in All Blacks squad
26 Jun 06 |  Internationals
O'Driscoll tips Wallabies over NZ
26 Jun 06 |  Internationals
Argentina 19-25 New Zealand
25 Jun 06 |  Internationals
New Zealand 27-17 Ireland
17 Jun 06 |  Internationals
New Zealand 34-23 Ireland
10 Jun 06 |  Internationals
All Blacks announce 39-man squad
28 May 06 |  Internationals
McCaw handed All Blacks captaincy
12 May 06 |  Internationals


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