Colin Slade will take his first steps towards a place in the World Cup squad this weekend.
He's been named to start at first-five for Canterbury in Saturday's Ranfurly Shield defence against North Otago.
Slade missed most of the Super Rugby season after breaking his jaw twice.
Slade is thought to be vying with Aaron Cruden for the role of Daniel Carter's back-up in the All Blacks.
- NEWSTALK ZB