Cowan fit to face Springboks
August 12, 2010
Coach Graham Henry must decide whether to start Jimmy Cowan © Getty Images
Scrum-half Jimmy Cowan has passed a fitness test and will take his place in the 26-man All Blacks squad headed to South Africa to take on the Springboks on August 21.
Cowan proved to medical staff on Thursday he has sufficiently recovered from a rib cartilage injury suffered in New Zealand's 49-28 defeat of Australia in Melbourne on July 31 to resume his Tri-Nations campaign.
His starting spot was inherited by Piri Weepu, with Alby Mathewson promoted to the reserve bench and making his first test apperance in the 20-10 defeat of the Wallabies at Christchurch on Saturday. Cowan's return has forced out Mathewson, who will play in Wellington's ITM Cup match against Otago on Saturday.
All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson said Cowan was ready to return to the training field ahead of the test in Johannesburg. "He basically needed rest and recuperation to get over the injury, which he has had, and is now keen to get back to training," Robinson said in a statement.
All Blacks coach Graham Henry must now decided whether to reinstate Cowan as the starting No.9, as he has been in five of the seven Tests this year. Henry may persist with starting Weepu, who has impressed with his two run-on efforts in the Tri-Nations. Weepu has played 42 tests and Cowan 39.