The All Blacks were given a strong boost in view of their decisive opening of the World Cup against the Springboks.
After losing the last warm-up test of the All Blacks against Tonga last weekend with a minor shoulder problem, Richie Mo & unga seems available for the first game of the tournament in Japan, with Assistant coach Ian Foster confirming the first five should be "completely fit and available".
Steve Hansen and co. were forced to play Beauden Barrett at no. 10 for the clash in Tonga for the first time since their narrow victory in Argentina in July, with Ben Smith returning in fullback.
But the defending world champions now seem ready to return to the double director combination Mo & unga / Barrett against the Springboks.
"Last week we said we took it out as a precaution, so this week is about his return to full training," Foster told reporters Wednesday.
"He's following very, very well."
Foster was confident that Mo & unga will be ready to face the clash at the Yokohama International Stadium one week from Saturday.
"(We) expect it to be completely fit and available," he said.
Foster also said that the All Blacks are looking forward to tackling one of the pre-tournament favorites first.
"We love the draw because it means we showed up and there is no excuse, we don't expect to be around … it's right there in front of us," he said.
"We are going to face a very confident South African team, but they will have to face a very determined All Black team and it is a great way to start the tournament."
. (tagsToTranslate) Sport (t) Rugby (t) anz sports scene (t) All Blacks (t) Rugby World Cup 2019 (t) Rugby competitions