Cory Jane returns to Test rugby
October 12, 2013
Cory Jane makes his return to Test rugby after a knee injury kept him from rugby since January © Getty Images
Outside back Cory Jane has been included in the All Blacks squad for the third Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia, just over a week after coming back from a long spell on the sidelines.
The 43-Test veteran suffered a knee injury in January, which kept him out of the Super Rugby competition and the All Blacks nine winning Tests this year. He made his return to action off the bench on the wing for ITM Cup leaders Wellington against Auckland last weekend and started at fullback against Hawke's Bay on Thursday.
Jane comes into the squad for centre and Hurricanes teammate Conrad Smith, who has begun a four-month break. Smith's replacement in the No.13 jersey for the Test in Dunedin next Saturday is expected to be Ben Smith. That would mean Smith moves in from the wing, where he has been in hot form, scoring eight tries in the All Blacks six Rugby Championship Tests.
Also back in a 29-man squad is midfield back Francis Saili, who gets the chance to add to his one Test against Argentina in August. In the forwards, prop Ben Afeaki, who went to South Africa for the final Rugby Championship Test as back-up for Owen Franks, is retained as cover. Franks went on to miss the title-clinching 38-27 win over the Springboks with a groin complaint, which has also ruled him out of facing the Wallabies.
Five-eighth Aaron Cruden has recovered from a knee injury he picked up in the Johannesburg Test to be included. However, star playmaker Dan Carter remains an absentee as he recovers from a shoulder injury.
New Zealand have already retained the Bledisloe Cup ahead of the final match of the series after winning both their Rugby Championship fixtures against Australia. However, the Wallabies will be boosted by their tournament-ending 54-17 thumping of Argentina in Rosario.
All Blacks: Dane Coles, Andrew Hore, Keven Mealamu, Ben Afeaki, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks, Tony Woodcock, Brodie Retallick, Jeremy Thrush, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Steven Luatua, Richie McCaw, Liam Messam, Kieran Read, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Smith, Piri Weepu, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Cruden, Tom Taylor, Ma'a Nonu, Francis Saili, Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Charles Piutau, Julian Savea, Ben Smith.
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