Dan Carter has been recalled to the All Blacks squad for the remainder of the Tri-Nations.
The star flyhalf sustained a serious Achilles injury on duty for French club Perpignan in February and has only recently returned to action with Canterbury in the New Zealand Cup.
After the Black’ defeat against the Springboks at King’s Park coach Graham Henry was non-committal about whether he’d recall Carter, but it was always expected that he would be involved in their remaining fixtures.
‘He is a key member of the All Blacks, has recovered well from his injury and has made a great return to rugby so now is the right time to bring him back into the squad,’ Henry said.
Carter is likely to replace Stephen Donald, who had an indifferent tenure in the role, in the starting line-up for the Test against Australia in Sydney on 22 August.
‘I feel good and comfortable,’ Carter told rugbyheaven.co.nz. ‘Obviously I haven’t got that many games under the belt, but each week I’m feeling more comfortable.
If I’m asked to play I’ll be keen and ready to go. Getting back in the black jersey has been what I’m working towards. You can’t really turn it down, if they want me to play I’ll be happy to play.’
Carter stressed that perspective must be maintained following their successive defeats to the Springboks.
‘I don’t think we’re in crisis or anything like that,’ he said. ‘We just lost a couple of extremely tough games to a quality South African side.
‘We’ve performed well in the past when our backs have been against the wall. I’m confident the All Blacks can bounce back from this.’