Ben Smith Under pressure wing Rieko Ioane one of nine All Blacks released for Mitre 10 Cup

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Ben Smith Rieko Ioane scored a try last week but has been struggling for form for months.

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Rieko Ioane scored a try last week but has been struggling for form for months.

Under pressure wing Rieko Ioane is one of nine players released by the All Blacks for the third round of the Mitre 10 Cup. 

Ioane, who was dropped in favour of George Bridge for Saturday night’s Bledisloe Cup romp against the Wallabies, is expected to play for Auckland against Bay of Plenty at Eden Park on Saturday. 

Given the All Blacks don’t play again until September 7 – against Tonga in Hamilton – Ioane and some of the other released players could also be made available in round four. 

Ioane, who has struggled for form since early in Super Rugby, had to watch on as Bridge impressed in the No 11 jersey on Saturday, when he scored a try and set up another. 

Ben Smith George Bridge impressed in place of Rieko Ioane against the Wallabies at Eden Park on Saturday night.

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George Bridge impressed in place of Rieko Ioane against the Wallabies at Eden Park on Saturday night.

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