Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Wynne Gray: Remember Israel Dagg?

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Israel Dagg. Photo / Brett Phibbs.
Israel Dagg. Photo / Brett Phibbs.

Remember Israel Dagg. More importantly remember what he can do on a rugby field.

That safety under the high ball, his speed, massive boot and ability to work into the backline as a threat, assist or decoy runner.

The Crusaders hope Dagg will bring some of his old magic when he makes a belated return to Super rugby after eight months repairing a dislocated shoulder.

They've been through yes-no-maybe playing scenarios this season as the 27-year-old former All Black fullback worked his way through the obstacles-both mental and physical-guarding his return.

Dagg has played some club rugby and was on the bench for the Crusaders win against the Force in Perth and is being set for on the park on Friday against the visiting Jaguares.

The Crusaders are tracking strongly with five wins from six outings with the work of their pack laying the foundation for much of that success.

Out in the backs Nemani Nadolo is an ever-present threat but the rest of the attack falls into the steady basket rather than the explosive danger from the wing.

Rookie David Havili has made a strong showing at fullback until injury while recruit Ben Volavola has brought more varied form.

A fit and functioning Dagg brings an extra dimension. However it will be a case of wait and see as the 49-test fullback spluttered through the last few seasons as his confidence levels took a hit through injury.

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Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

The latest commentary and analysis from senior rugby writer Wynne Gray. Wynne has been covering the All Blacks for more than 27 years and has attended more than 230 All Blacks tests live for the Herald.

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