New Zealand set to be handed Coles fitness boost for Australia clash


New Zealand hooker Dane Coles is set to finally make his All Blacks comeback against Australia this weekend after a frustrating spell with injuries.

Coles missed four months of action with a head injury, sitting out the British and Irish Lions series before returning for Hurricanes' Super Rugby quarter-final win over Brumbies last month.

The 30-year-old was due to return to the international fold for New Zealand's opening Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies last week, which they won 54-34, but suffered a fresh head knock in the 'game of three halves' against Taranaki and Counties Manukau and was ruled out of the Bledisloe Cup contest.

However, assistant coach Ian Foster said Coles - who last represented his country against France last November - is in line to face Australia in Dunedin after coming through training unscathed.

"He trained really well," Foster said. "He had a good week last week actually.

"He's come through [training] really well."

Sonny Bill Williams is also in contention to be selected after sustaining a head injury in the first match, an incident SANZAAR is reportedly looking into to see if medical officials should have carried out concussion tests.

Foster added: "Sonny took a knock in the weekend but he was symptom-free.

"The doctor has done what he always does when there is a suspicion of something. 

"He was held back a little bit today so we could make sure he was absolutely clear but the signs are really positive."