28 Jul 2010

Rokococo looking over his shoulder

5:50 am on 28 July 2010

Joe Rokocoko is pleased to have been recalled for New Zealand's Tri-Nations rugby clash against Australia after recovering from a hamstring injury, but says he feels a bit sheepish after shunting in-form players out of the starting 15.

The 27-year-old watched on the sidelines as his understudies Rene Ranger and Israel Dagg scored a try each during the All Blacks' 31-17 win over South Africa in Wellington earlier this month.

Dagg remains on the bench for the Wallabies match in Melbourne on Saturday, while Ranger was not even given a seat on the plane.

Too polite to be anything but congratulatory for his team mates, Rokocoko joked that his reinstatement was unlikely to draw unanimous cheers.

He says he's used to the criticism describing himself as the most wanted man in New Zealand claiming the rugby public are ready to take his head off.

Rokocoko will line up for his 64th test at Docklands stadium, surpassing greats John Kirwan and Jonah Lomu as the All Blacks' most capped specialist winger.