16 Aug 2009

Carter's return to international rugby all but complete

6:02 pm on 16 August 2009

First five Dan Carter's return to international rugby is all but complete, having been named in the All Blacks squad to play Australia in Sydney, on Saturday.

Having been out since January when he injured an achilles tendon while playing in club rugby in France, Carter's played the opening three rounds of the Air New Zealand provincial competition for Canterbury, convincing All Blacks coach Graham Henry he's ready to add to his 58 test caps.

The Wellington prop Neemia Tialata has been dropped, paying the price for the forward packs indifferent tri nations form.

He's been replaced by Canterbury's Wyatt Crockett.

Halfback Piri Weepu has also missed the flight to Sydney, ruled out due to the ankle injury he suffered at the All Blacks training day in Auckland, on Wednesday.

The test side will be named on Tuesday.

The full squad is:

John Afoa, Daniel Carter, Jimmy Cowan, Wyatt Crockett, Aled de Malmanche, Stephen Donald, Jason Eaton, Owen Franks, Andrew Hore, Cory Jane, Jerome Kaino, Tanerau Latimer, Brendon Leonard, Luke McAlister, Richie McCaw, Mils Muliaina, Ma'a Nonu, Kieran Read, Josevata Rokocoko, Isaac Ross, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Conrad Smith, Rodney So'oialo, Brad Thorn and Tony Woodcock, and Tamati Ellison.