Savea third All Black to contract mumps

The All Blacks have defended their medical processes after a third player in their squad contracted the mumps.

Flanker Ardie Savea has been in isolation since the team arrived in Cardiff ahead of Saturday’s Test against Wales, having been diagnosed with a “mild” case of the viral disease.

Assistant coach Ian Foster confirmed Savea is the only player showing symptoms and they aren’t full blown as he was vaccinated as a child.

He agreed the 24-year-old must have caught the mumps off team-mate Rieko Ioane, who was isolated for several days two weeks earlier in the tour but recovered in time to face France in Paris.

He said the timing of Savea’s symptoms would ring true with having come into contact with Ioane.

The third victim was rookie centre Jack Goodhue, whose departure for the tour was delayed by a week to reduce any prospect of exposure to team-mates.

All Blacks management don’t believe Goodhue’s bout is related to the other players.

Foster praised All Blacks team doctor Tony Page for his handling of what is an unusual health issue for a travelling sports team.

“Clearly it caught us on the hop a little bit. It’s not something you get a lot of,” Foster said.

“We’re really satisfied with the way doc’s reacted really, really quickly with Rieko. Obviously Ardie was susceptible, even though he’s done everything right in the past. He’s recovering quickly.”

All of the squad are being closely monitored for evidence of the mumps but none are showing warning signs.

“Are we worried about it? No we’re not. Have we taken every precaution? Yes we have,” Foster said.

“It’s something we’re taking really seriously. It’s not like we’re just sitting back taking it for granted.

“Clearly Ardie must have been in pretty close proximity to Rieko at some point.”

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