Illness sweeps through the Tall Blacks squad

Last updated 18:54 15/08/2014
Tom Abercrombie
NOT WELL: Tom Abercrombie is one of five Tall Blacks players who have picked up a stomach virus as the team's World Cup build-up intensifies.

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The Tall Blacks have been stricken with a stomach virus that has laid low five players and three staff and sent them into isolation on the eve of their match against Slovenia in Lithuania.

Assistant coach Paul Henare said it was a case of seeing who emerges for breakfast in any condition to actually consider eating anything.

''This is quite a stomach bug that has hit us. We have almost half the playing roster and three of the staff including Nenad Vucinic (coach) and Pero Cameron go down with this,'' Henare said.

''They will be kept away from the rest of the team. We had to stop the bus on the way back from training yesterday to allow a quick exit as Tom Abercrombie was ill.

''That was after a practice session when we started with three players and had two others join us for a small involvement near the end.''

There were signs of improvement for some last night (Lithuanian time) as soup and rice was contemplated.  The team is seeking medical advice as to how long lasting and easily spread the bug is.

The illness issue aside, Henare acknowledged that the Lithuania leg of the tour is about to see a big step up in intensity.

''This will be a huge step up, the quality of teams we come up against this weekend is significant, as a team we want to see what we are at against quality opposition.''

''It is hard to say where we are at ourselves, we have had some good form, the Korean series and the two tournaments in China were great results for us but against Slovenia, Lithuania and Greece, all three are world class sides.''

More news is expected tomorrow New Zealand time as everyone is checked to see how they are feeling just a day out from playing Slovenia.

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