Retallick On Track To Play In Italy Test

Publish Date
Wednesday, 9 November 2016, 8:53AM


All Black lock Brodie Retallick is on track to be available for this weekend's test with Italy in Rome.

Retallick is in the final stages of his return-to-play protocols after suffering a concussion against Australia a fortnight ago.

Assistant coach Ian Foster said signs are positive.

"He's come in and he looks like he's in pretty good shape. Has ticked all the boxes to date. And now he's got to go through a couple of days of full training and we'll make the final decision then."

While the team lost the test to Ireland and two players to injury, Foster said they intend to stick with their selection plan for the first two weeks of the tour.

"Coming off a loss, it hurts, but it doesn't necessarily change our attitude about the importance of us using the resources of our full squad to get through this tour."

Foster said as a selection panel, they have been very consistent with how they've chosen teams on tours.

"You kind of feel that if you bring guys over you really want to give them an opportunity as much as possible. That's the only way to learn and ironically, it does bring energy into the group.

"Clearly [we've had] a few injuries. A few guys joined us from home, Sam and Brodie, they're looking good. We'll assess them but overall it looks like we're going accordingly to plan."

Retallick needs to get through training today and tomorrow night to pass the last of his concussion protocols and be available to face Italy this weekend.

Meanwhile, Italy coach Conor Shea has named his side to face the All Blacks.

While 11 of the squad have a single digit number of test caps to their name, the group contains a core of proven talent

The team is led by number eight Sergio Parisse, with hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini and flanker Simone Favarro other leaders in the pack, while the backline will function around Aussie-born second five Luke McLean.

Shea has named one debutant in halfback George Bronzini leaving the experienced Edoardo Gori on the bench.

via Radio Sport