HE MAY have played limited rugby this season, but recalled All Blacks first five Colin Slade says he is ready to play for the All Blacks against Fiji in Dunedin next week.
Slade has only played a handful of games since twice breaking his jaw this season.
But two 40-minute spells for Canterbury in pre-season games was enough to catapult his way back into All Blacks contention and head off Hurricanes rival Aaron Cruden.
And now he was raring to go for the season-opening game against Fiji at Carisbrook.
"It takes a little bit of time to get confidence in contact. But every game so far has been good and I am going to get better. I'm good to go,” he told The Press.
Slade was nervous about his All Blacks chances and thought he did not have a show of being selected.
However, those concerns were alleviated when coach Graham Henry phoned him up a day before yesterday’s announcement.
Slade, who played his one and only test off the bench against the Wallabies in Sydney last year, took heart from the fact that the All Blacks selectors kept in touch with him during his rehabilitation period.
He was not sure of the coaches' plans for the Fiji test on July 22 but he felt "physically" fine.
“They wouldn't have picked me if I wasn't ready to go,” he says.« Back to Articles
This weekend throws up another set of games which could go either way.
Which player was unlucky not to make the Wallabies’ preliminary squad for the British and Irish Lions series?