All Blacks and Chiefs flanker Sam Cane has been cleared to start training and taking contact with the Chiefs.
The 27-year-old broke his neck in a Rugby Championship match in October last year against the Springboks in Pretoria.
He underwent a successful operation in Pretoria and has been busy with intense rehab ever since.
Cane has been included in All Black coach Steven Hansen’s one-day camp.
This suggests that Cane is still in Hansen’s plans for the World Cup.
Hansen plans to have three of these camps during the Super Rugby Tournament.
Cane wasn’t the only long-term injured player included in the squad.
Loose forward Liam Squire, scrumhalf Aaron Smith and winger Waisake Naholo have also been included.
All of these players formed a key part of the All Blacks squad over the last few years.
Former All Black centre Ma’a Nonu has not been included in the one-day camp.
Nonu last played for the Kiwis in 2015, before leaving for France for three years.
He returned in 2019 to play for the Blues to try and force his way back into All Black contention.
With centres such as Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Jack Goodhue and Ryan Crotty, it will be a difficult task for Nonu.
It will become very interesting to see if Nonu is in the plans if one or two of the first choice centres pick up injuries.
With over 100 tests and Super Rugby matches, he will be the obvious choice.
But, until then, his World Cup chances remains slim.
Written by Carl Coertzen
Image Credit: Stuff NZ