Carter cleared for return to action
- All Black fly-half Dan Carter, out of action since February with an Achilles tendon injury, has got the green light to resume playing rugby at club level. Should he regain full fitness he may potentially have a part to play in this season's Tri-Nations.
Carter was given the go-ahead to turn out for his Southbridge club against Hornby in Christchurch on Saturday after successfully completing training with the Canterbury squad.
"I'm really looking forward to playing for Southbridge," Carter said. "I played all my age-group rugby for the club but have never turned out in a senior match for them so it will be a new experience. I'm really happy with where my training is at following my injury.
"I've done a lot of running in the past few weeks and speed work and contact work this week so I'm confident that I'm ready to go."
- Ospreys wing Shane Williams' shoulder surgery should not impact on his pre-season. The winger underwent pre-planned surgery on Tuesday, but Ospreys physio Chris Towers has maintained that he will not be an injury concern for the region or Wales as the new season approaches.
Wales boss Warren Gatland will be cheered by the news after losing openisde Martyn Williams, props Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins and potentially centre Tom Shanklin for their autumn series due to shoulder problems.
"I can confirm that Shane underwent surgery to his shoulder on Tuesday 14th July," said Towers. "It was a routine procedure that had been pre-planned to coincide with his return from the Lions tour. By the time Shane reports for pre-season training in August, he will already be four weeks post op, and apart from not being able to take contact and lift heavy upper body weights initially, there will be little impact on his pre-season preparations.
"A further four to six weeks should see him back to full training and available for selection, along with his Lions team-mates as per schedule."
- Wallabies boss Robbie Deans will not stand in the way of Timana Tahu's reported move back to rugby league, although he has revealed that the centre was knocking on the door for Test selection.
Tahu looks set to return to league with Parramatta despite a strong showing for the Waratahs in the Super 14.
"He wasn't far away at all, but insofar as he hadn't played, he had an injury, we didn't consider him," Deans told AAP. "Yeah, he's obviously very capable. There's no doubt he was making headway. He'd worked really hard and obviously these blocks that we get them in camp are invaluable.
"But that's not the point. We had some conversations, Timana and I," he said. "It was never easy for him in terms of getting that continuity that would have served him well, whether it be because of injuries, selection, whatever. Both contributed to an inability to get a flow on.
I also think the element that he found difficult was time away from home - travel time, which is something that's unique (in rugby)."
- The Golden Lions are preparing a last-ditch offer in order to keep hold of centre Jaque Fourie, who is poised to join French Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne. The South African Rugby Union have made an offer to Fourie, yet he still looks poised to move.
Fourie's agent Peet van Zyl has revealed that the Lions have refused to release the player, who starts at outside-centre for the Springboks against New Zealand in Bloemfontein on Saturday, and are searching for the funds to keep him.
"The Lions have already let Clermont know that they refuse to release Jaque. They want to come up with a counter offer and they are looking for additional financing to match what Jaque could earn at Clermont," Van Zyl told Supersport. "It will ultimately still be Jaque's decision if he stays or leaves. SA Rugby have already offered him a contract until after 2011."