Three weeks away from the start of the long anticipated British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand, the home side’s head coach Steve Hansen has received a significant boost as a number of big names return from injury.
Much has been made of the impressive injury list Hansen has had to contend with in recent weeks, with names like Kieran Read, Dane Coles, Israel Dagg, Sonny Bill Williams, Ben Smith and Nehe Milner-Skudder all fighting their own personal fitness battles.
On Saturday, however, that list just got a bit shorter as Sonny Bill Williams has been included in the Blues squad that travelled to South Africa for their Super Rugby clash with the Stormers and Israel Dagg’s successful return to action following a knee injury.
Williams has been cleared to play following his successful recovery from a concussion while Dagg lined out for his University club in their 48-26 victory over Marist-Albion as he returns to action following a nine-week layout following knee surgery.
After the club game Dagg, was upbeat about his return.
Video Credit: Stuff
All Blacks boss Hansen will certainly be pleased to see the return of his two dangerous backs, especially with both now getting some invaluable game time ahead of the arrival of the Lions.
Now all he needs is similar positive news about his first choice hooker Dane Coles, who continues to battle the symptoms of concussion and is an ongoing concern for Hansen.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena