New Zealand international Dane Coles made his long-awaited return from injury for Wellington in the Mitre 10 Cup on Friday.
The All Blacks hooker ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in an international against France in Paris last November, with a tricky rehabilitation keeping the 31-year-old out for almost a year.
But Coles, whose 2017 season was disrupted by concussion, was finally back on the field with Wellington at Yarrow Stadium.
The Hurricanes captain had an instant impact, too, emerging from the bench with 16 minutes remaining and playing a part in a late try as his side ran out 34-10 winners over Taranaki.
Wellington booked their place in the Mitre 10 Cup semi-finals, while Taranaki’s relegation was sealed in defeat.
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