25 Apr 2009

McAlister in line to return for All Blacks in Tri Nations

8:37 am on 25 April 2009

The former All Black midfield back Luke McAlister is in line to return to the national side in this year's Tri Nations competition.

The New Zealand rugby union board has approved an exemption that will initially make him eligible for the Junior All Blacks.

Under current policy a player must be resident in New Zealand, contracted by the NZRU and have played in the competition immediately preceding selection to be eligible for the All Blacks and other national sides.

However Rugby Union CEO Steve Tew says the exemption is based on McAlister playing for the Barbarians invitational side prior to his return to New Zealand and would only be available for the All Blacks in June tests aginst France and Italy if injury rules out other current contenders.

He would then be eligible for the Tri Nations, which kicks off in July.

McAlister announced in February he was returning home at the end of the English Premiership season next month, where he's currently playing for Manchester club Sale.