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New Zealand

Nonu 'looking good' ahead of opener

12th August 2013 06:27


Maa Nonu All Blacks training New Plymouth Jun 2013

On the up: Ma'a Nonu

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster is confident that centre Ma'a Nonu will be fit and ready for Saturday's Rugby Championship opener.

Nonu has been sidelined by an ankle injury and took no part in the All Blacks' warm-up matches against Canterbury and Wellington on Friday. However, he took part in a training session on Monday and appeared to be running without difficulty.

"He trained well today, so he's looking very good," said Foster. "It's not at that point [where we are preparing someone else instead], but clearly within the squad we brought Ryan Crotty in to cover this week. That increases our options if Ma'a can't play."

The 31-year-old is under pressure to perform after a poor Super Rugby campaign that has left him struggling to find a franchise, but despite this and the concerns surrounding his fitness, Foster reveals he's been impressed by Nonu's approach.

"I've been delighted with him. He's come in very focused. His major concern has been getting over that niggle and he's done that very well," he commented.

"His attitude has been outstanding. I think his ability to come in and focus has been outstanding."

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