13 Aug 2014

All Blacks mull fullback options

11:55 am on 13 August 2014

The All Blacks coaches are continuing to consider their options for the back three combination in the opening Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia in Sydney on Saturday night.

Israel Dagg

Israel Dagg Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Fullback is set to be the most contentious selection with Israel Dagg returning from injury after Ben Smith shone in the 15 jersey in the last two Tests against England.

Charles Piutau is also back in the squad after missing the June series with a knee injury.

The assistant coach Ian Foster says they're in an enviable position with so many quality players to choose from.

He says Dagg has progressed well since his injury and he may get the first opportunity to play at the back, with Smith equally capable of playing on the wing.

The All Blacks are expecting to have a fully fit squad to choose from for the Test, with a only few players suffering minor niggles after Friday's training match.

Foster says the most significant injury is to Steven Luatua, but he's expected to be available for selection when the team is named on Thursday.

He says the squad is more refreshed than when it came into camp for the England series in June.