Richie McCaw will play his first match of the year when he turns out for a Christchurch club on Saturday.
The All Black skipper has been on sabbatical during the Super Rugby season as he looks to rest his body in an attempt to prolong his career.
However, with the Rugby Championship on the horizon, the flanker is preparing for a fully-fledged return to action, with the first step a club match where he'll turn out for Canterbury Metro against Lincoln University.
The 32-year-old is likely to feel rusty after a long spell off and despite having stepped up his fitness training may not last the full eighty minutes, a decision he'll be the one to make on.
"He's there to play as long as we need him. Obviously it's a good hit-out for him," said Christchurch co-coach Daniel O'Brien.
"It will be his call to see how he's going. There are no restrictions at this stage."