sport

New Zealand waiting on Cane

New Zealand flanker Sam Cane faces a race against time to be fit for the first Test against England on Saturday.

Cane is rated doubtful for the Auckland showdown after suffering a knee strain during the Waikato Chiefs 17-33 defeat to the Waratahs at the weekend.

Crusaders loose forward Matt Todd had been called into the squad as cover for Cane.

A decision on whether or not Cane will be available, most likely as replacement cover for captain Richie McCaw, will be made later in the week.

Crusaders prop Joe Moody is also training with the All Blacks as loosehead Tony Woodcock recovers from a hip knock.

Moody is on the comeback trail after breaking a leg before New Zealand's northern tour last year, while Todd has missed the past month of Super Rugby because of a calf injury.

The All Blacks had a light training run on Monday with veteran centre Conrad Smith saying it could be some days before they were in shape for a Test.

"These first couple of days you've got to wait till everyone gets on that same level, and hopefully by Thursday we'll all be ready to play a Test match physically, and go together towards Saturday night," he said.