The All Blacks will select from a fully fit squad, despite the fact that
captain Richie McCaw played a minimal role in training in Johannesburg.
McCaw, who suffered a knee injury against the Springboks in Dunedin,
played against Argentina but was spelled for the final quarter for a
well-deserved 20 minute rest.
The World Cup winning skipper is
likely to play in Round Six at Soweto this weekend, especially
considering the personally, the victory will give McCaw 100 test wins as
a player – the first time in history this mark has been achieved.
played a small part in training before taking a hit in a drill, and the
following ice pack was said by the All Blacks medical team to be merely
While the entire team would be eligible for
selection, the faces of more than one player suggested it was the
walking wounded in South Africa today.
Centre Conrad Smith’s
unlucky 2012 with his eyes continue, sporting a shiner after the match
with the Pumas, just weeks after returning from surgery to have his
Lock Luke Romano, who looks perhaps to be the
new physical enforcer in the second row, looked the part with numerous
cuts over his face.
The squad was tired as they were under
instructions to stay awake early in the week to force their bodyclocks
into adjustment with South African time.