Braid gets call-up to All Blacks squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Braid gets call-up to All Blacks squad

20/07/2008 04:52:49 PM Comments (0)

Daniel Braid is one step closer to making his international comeback in the Tri-Nations rugby Test against Australia in Sydney next Saturday.

All Blacks management confirmed that the Auckland openside flanker will train with the squad in Wellington this week, before they head to Sydney on Thursday.

With regular skipper Richie McCaw still sidelined due to an ankle injury, Braid had been widely tipped to join the All Blacks.

Chris Masoe was originally brought in as cover for McCaw, after McCaw injured himself against England on June 21.

However, Masoe did not appear in either of the opening two Tri-Nations tests against South Africa, when New Zealand missed the services of a specialist openside flanker.

Braid, 27, who made the last of his three Test appearances in 2003, was ruled out of the tests against South Africa due to a calf injury.

He showed no signs of that injury when helping Auckland retain the Ranfurly Shield against Poverty Bay in Gisborne last Tuesday.

Along with Braid, All Blacks management also said Chiefs lock Kevin O'Neill would train with the team in Wellington.

O'Neill made his test debut as a replacement for the injured Ali Williams against South Africa in Dunedin on July 12.

O'Neill had joined the squad after lock Brad Thorn was suspended.

While Thorn is now available for selection, O'Neill will stay with the squad as precautionary cover for Williams, who aggravated an ankle injury of his own against the Springboks.

Also, McCaw will rejoin the team in Wellington and will resume training as he recovers from a high ankle sprain.

It was originally thought McCaw could return to action against South Africa in Cape Town on August 16.

He is now hopeful his return could be accelerated to take in the test against Australia in Auckland on August 2.

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