Tawera Kerr-Barlow is set to make his All Black return against Australia after a good run-out for Waikato on Friday.
The Chiefs scrum-half has been out of action for much of the season because a serious knee injury suffered last October, missing the entire Super Rugby season as a result.
However he has now played a couple of games for local club side Hautapu, a couple more for the Maori All Blacks, and now 55 minutes for Waikato against North Harbour.
All Blacks assistant Ian Foster was on hand to see the game, and it appears that Kerr-Barlow will feature in the two upcoming Bledisloe Cup clashes with Australia.
"It was really good to get out there and have another run. I had plenty left in the tank," Kerr-Barlow told Stuff.co.nz.
"But the best thing was getting back out there with my high school mates. We haven't run around since 2008 or something.
"As soon as they told me I could go back to play, I never had any second thoughts and I don't think about my knee when I'm out there playing or training."
New Zealand play Australia in Sydney next weekend in the final round of the Rugby Championship, before a return fixture in Auckland.
Kerr-Barlow is expected to be given the opportunity to prove himself, as New Zealand look for a third scrum-half for the World Cup squad behind Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara.