TOKYO – All Blacks fans received welcome news on Monday with injured lock Brodie Retallick confirming he was hitting tackle bags at training and expected to increase the intensity of collision on his recovering shoulder this week.
The 2014 World Player of the Year dislocated his shoulder against South Africa in July and suffered nerve damage that he thought might keep him out of the global showpiece.
Coach Steve Hansen, however, selected Retallick anyway on the expectation he would be ready to play again by the knockout stage, although the 28-year-old said he hoped to be on the field earlier than that.
“The shoulder's cracking along pretty good. Progress is going well,” he told reporters in Tokyo on Monday. “Not sure of an exact date, but hopefully sooner rather than later I'll be available for selection.
“I've got a full range of motion. Strength's nearly back to where it was. Now it's slowly building into the contact.