All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has spoken of his delight at seeing the return of Liam Squire, as the Highlanders star made his comeback from a broken thumb in Brisbane last night.
Having missed a large chunk of the current season, Squire, 27, returned to the field as a first half substitute for the Highlanders, as they ground out a gutsy 18-15 win over the Reds.
Squire himself was in excellent form, scoring a try as well as coming up with a number of crucial carries for his side.
Speaking to media today, Hansen spoke highly of Squire's return, with the flanker expected to be the All Blacks' first-choice in the number six jersey in next month's Test series with France.
"He was Liam Squire wasn't he," Hansen said.
"Pretty physical. (He) probably went for a bit longer than he wanted to, with the injury, but he's come through it.
"He's a naturally fit guy, and the game time would have been superb for him. It's great."