26 Oct 2010

All Blacks coach says Sivivatu and Toeava fitter than ever

11:47 am on 26 October 2010

The All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith says he has no concerns about the fitness of players returning to test match rugby after extended spells on the sideline claiming they're fitter than ever before.

First five Dan Carter and hooker Keven Mealamu are certain to be rushed back into the starting side to face the Wallabies in Hong Kong on Saturday night, while winger Sitiveni Sivivatu has been included on the end of year tour squad despite having played just one game for Waikato.

Smith denies it's a gamble taking players without match fitness on tour and says the returning All Blacks, and in particular Sivivatu, have made the most of their time off the pitch.