Retallick set for comeback

Date published: November 8 2016

New Zealand second-row Brodie Retallick is closing in on a return as his side looks to bounce back against Italy this Saturday.

Retallick, who missed the shock defeat to Ireland in Chicago due to concussion, had to watch as his team-mates lost 40-29 at Soldier Field.

But after taking part in light training this week, he could be back in a black shirt when they face Conor O’Shea’s charges at the Stadio Olimpico.

“So far, so good,” he told Sky Sports ahead of the clash.

“I am running fine but have not done any contact or collision stuff yet. The next couple of days will be critical.”

It is unlikely head coach Steve Hansen will name his strongest available side this weekend as they could target next week’s game against Ireland in Dublin, where revenge will definitely be in the air. Assistant coach Ian Foster echoed that argument when speaking on Tuesday.

“Our belief has always been that we need a lot of freshness to get our performance right,” Foster said.

“Coming off a loss – that hurts. But it doesn’t change our attitude about using the full resources of our squad to get through this tour. If you bring guys over you really want to give them an opportunity.”