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Dane Coles set for long-awaited return

Dane Coles set for long-awaited return

New Zealand hooker Dane Coles is set to make his first Test appearance in nine months when the All Blacks face Australia on Saturday.

The 30-year-old appears to have finally come through his injury nightmare after battling the affects of concussion for the last five months, restricting him to just 90 minutes of Super Rugby action since mid-March.

The World Cup winner had been in line to make his return to action in last week's Rugby Championship encounter with Australia but was left out as a pre-caution after taking another knock to the head in the All Blacks' clash with provincial sides Taranaki and Counties Manukau.

Having watched the 54-34 victory over the Wallabies in Sydney from the stands, New Zealand are hopeful of having Coles in the squad when the two southern hemisphere powerhouses meet again in Dunedin on Saturday.

Discussing whether Coles could feature at the weekend, All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said: "He trained really well. He had a good week last week actually. He's come through today [Tuesday] really well."

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