New Zealand hooker Dane Coles is set to finally make his All Blacks comeback against Australia this weekend after a frustrating spell with injuries.
Coles missed four months of action with a head injury, sitting out the British and Irish Lions series before returning for Hurricanes’ Super Rugby quarter-final win over Brumbies last month.
The 30-year-old was due to return to the international fold for New Zealand’s opening Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies last week, which they won 54-34, but suffered a fresh head knock in the ‘game of three halves’ against Taranaki and Counties Manukau and was ruled out of the Bledisloe Cup contest.
However, assistant coach Ian Foster said Coles – who last represented his country against France last November – is in line to face Australia in Dunedin after coming through training unscathed.
“He trained really well,” Foster said. “He had a good week last week actually.
“He’s come through [training] really well.”
Sonny Bill Williams is also in contention to be selected after sustaining a head injury in the first match, an incident SANZAAR is reportedly looking into to see if medical officials should have carried out concussion tests.
Foster added: “Sonny took a knock at the weekend but he was symptom-free.
“The doctor has done what he always does when there is a suspicion of something.
“He was held back a little bit today so we could make sure he was absolutely clear but the signs are really positive.”
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