1 NEWS Sport Presenter
The Highlanders have confirmed that vice-captain and fullback Ben Smith is available for selection again, having missed his side's overseas tour with an ankle injury.
Speaking to media ahead of their clash with the Waratahs this weekend, assistant coach Scott McLeod gave an update on the condition of the 60-Test All Blacks star.
"He's going to train this week and is available for selection," McLeod said.
The news will come as a welcome relief for the All Blacks, with several key players such as Smith as well as Kieran Read and Jerome Kaino under injury clouds ahead of next month's Lions tour.
Mike Cron, the long-serving All Blacks scrum coach, has revealed that he regularly looks to other sports for ways to help his own players improve - with his observations ranging as far as ballet and cage fighting.
Speaking to media, Cron spoke about his role in helping the All Blacks prepare for the upcoming Lions tour, drawing inspiration from several other codes.
"Every year, you've got to be better than last year," Cron said.
"I look at other sports to try and up skill myself."
"In the past, I've been to sumo wrestling in Japan. In America, I've been to New York Giants, Knicks, Yankees, Pittsburgh Penguins."
"This year I went to the Royal New Zealand Ballet - for their lifting."
"I went to cage fighting on the Gold Coast, looking at activity and how to get off the ground quickly."