Rugby World Cup: All Blacks lock Scott Barrett shrugs off reports of finger injury after France loss

Lock Scott Barrett has shrugged off fears he is about to join the walking wounded, as the All Blacks' World Cup bodycount escalates.

Newshub's Ollie Ritchie has reported Barrett returned from New Zealand's opening defeat at Paris to their training base at Lyon with his hand heavily bandaged, but was assured by team staff he was fine.

With several other frontline performers already sidelined by injury, the loss of another is the last thing the All Blacks need, as they try to regroup from their first-ever World Cup pool loss at the hands of hosts France.

Scott Barrett responds to injury reports.
Scott Barrett responds to injury reports. Photo credit: Newshub

Barrett, 29, has been asked about his health at the team's daily media conference.

"Yeah, I think Ollie has ruled me out for the rest of the tournament by the sounds," he quipped. "Jokes aside, the hand's all fine.

"It's a contact sport and those things are to be expected, but I'm available for selection this week."

Injury updates have quickly become a daily routine at the World Cup, with the All Blacks missing at least four first-choice players against the French.

Lock Brodie Retallick made a timely return from a knee injury that had kept him out of the final hitout against South Africa and was probably expected to sideline him for the tournament opener.

He was called onto the bench, when captain Sam Cane withdrew on gameday, forcing a reshuffle of the loose forwards. Cane's back niggle has not been deemed serious, but he isn't expected to line up against minnows Namibia this week.

"He didn't train today," said assistant coach Jason Ryan. "He got through a bit of running work and we'll reassess Sam tomorrow.

"We've got to get him right and now's the chance to do that, so we won't be taking any risks with skip, because he's important to us."

Cane has been plagued with head and neck injuries in recent times, and missed the Bledisloe Cup victory over Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground in recovery.

Flanker Shannon Frizell is still nursing a hamstring injury he picked up on the eve of departure from Auckland, while midfielder Jordie Barrett was another unable to take the field against France with a knee complaint.

Jordie Barrett at All Blacks training.
Jordie Barrett at All Blacks training. Photo credit: Getty Images

"It's coming along pretty good thanks," said Barrett. "Obviously, it's been a slow 10-14 days, but it's on the improve day by day.

"It's come on from nowhere over the past couple of weeks, just a joint injury and a bit of inflammation, but I'm making progress each day. I got through [running] today really well, which is positive, and I didn't do any running last week, so it's improving.

"For sure, you want to play every test and be available every time, so your natural inclination is you want to be out there, but it's not all doom and gloom. It's a long tournament and our team's in a good spot this week." 

The other casualty is prop Tyrel Lomax, who suffered a deep gash against South Africa, but is reportedly making progress and running.

Join Newshub at 7am Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks v Namibia World Cup pool clash