Injured Coles back in the All Blacks fold

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles has been called into All Blacks camp this week but a timeline for his rugby return is still unclear.

Coles hasn't played since rupturing his ACL knee last November playing for New Zealand, an injury that has forced him under the knife twice, but has been showing positive progress in recent weeks.

The 31-year-old is back running and has gained greater flexibility in the joint in the past month since his second bout of surgery.

With Super Rugby over, Coles will be looked after by the All Blacks medical team but his comeback could come via the Wellington Lions in New Zealand's Mitre 10 Cup.

The opening two Bledisloe Tests are still reportedly seen as too soon for the hooker's return but a Test appearance later in the year is certainly not out of the question.

Coles is the only intriguing inclusion in the 29-man group to assemble in Bledisloe camp this week.

No Crusaders have been named as they prepare for Saturday's Super Rugby final against the Lions but the remainder of the players that were part of the side's June Series squad have been named.

Coach Steve Hansen will name his Rugby Championship squad on Monday August 6.

The Wallabies take on the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe Test in Sydney on Saturday August 18, kicking off at 8pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.

SQUAD

All Blacks Bledisloe Cup camp

Hookers

Dane Coles

Liam Coltman

Nathan Harris

Props

Jeffery Toomaga-Allen

Karl Tu'inukuafe

Ofa Tuungafasi

Locks

Brodie Retallick

Patrick Tuipulotu

Loose forwards

Sam Cane

Vaea Fifita

Shannon Frizell

Jackson Hemopo

Akira Ioane

Ardie Savea

Liam Squire

Luke Whitelock.

Halfbacks

TJ Perenara

Aaron Smith

Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi.

Flyhalves

Beauden Barrett

Damian McKenzie

Centres

Ngani Laumape

Anton Lienert-Brown

Sonny Bill Williams

Outside backs

Jordie Barrett

Rieko Ioane

Nehe Milner-Skudder

Waisake Naholo

Ben Smith