There was positive news on the injury front for the All Blacks this week, with experienced lock Brodie Retallick set to play his first game in eight weeks for the Chiefs.
Retallick will start his first game for the Chiefs since March after recovering from the broken thumb he suffered in the derby against the Crusaders.
Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan confirmed on Wednesday the 30-year-old will be starting in Saturday’s historic clash with the Fijian Drua in Lautoka, which will be the Fijian city’s first Super Rugby match.
However, news on All Blacks skipper and Chiefs co-captain Sam Cane was less positive. He has avoided a long-term stint on the sidelines but is unlikely to play after suffering a knee injury in last week’s game against the Western Force.
“Brodie’s back. He’s starting. Sam is positive but not quite ready,” McMillan told reporters in New Zealand.
“The other locks have done a great job in Brodie’s absence, but he brings a high level of experience. It’s a good boost at this time of year.”
Retallick’s return will be welcomed by the All Blacks coaching staff as it comes five weeks before New Zealand host Ireland in a three-Test series in July.
The 2014 World Rugby Player of the Year has played 92 Tests for the All Blacks and, if he stays fit, could join the list of All Blacks centurions this year.
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