All Black No 8 Kieran Read is being primed to play his first Rugby World Cup test against Canada.

Medical forecasts suggested a possible return this week and so far Read has ticked all the boxes to start at the Cake Tin on Sunday.

"He will be available at this stage so unless something goes wrong, you can expect to him to be available," assistant coach Steve Hansen said.

Read damaged left ankle ligaments against the Wallabies last month and like fellow injured loose forward Adam Thomson, needed x-rays to confirm his place in the squad.


That done, he was put on an intensive rehab programme, started running last week and now is ready to complete the celebrated All Black loose trio.

The injury bulletins got better for the All Blacks yesterday with three of the quartet who left Eden Park with injuries against France, likely to be available again this week against Canada.

The only absentee will be left wing Richard Kahui who strained his hamstring.

"He probably won't play. It is not a serious hamstring but it is precautionary. We will give him a week off to make sure he is dead right," Hansen added.

Fullback Israel Dagg bruised his thigh and while he would be on light duties at the start of this week he would be fit for the next test.

Thomson was a similar case. He twisted his knee and ankle but was much freer yesterday and set for action against Canada.

So too Cory Jane who suffered blurred vision after a collision in the first half of the All Blacks' victory.

"He's pulled up really good and with any injury to the head you have got to be cautious," said Hansen.

The All Blacks wanted to maintain their momentum so selection for the fourth pool match was a tricky assignment.

Canada had also shown some tournament form, especially against France and up front they were well drilled. Their prospects against the All Blacks would depend on what toll they suffered in their game tomorrow against Japan.

The All Blacks selection plans were about maintaining momentum, some players who needed more rugby and others who had niggling injuries.

"There will be changes but I think you can expect to see the core of the team that has been playing, back out there," Hansen suggested.

"We've sent a statement to ourselves that we are going okay and we are very happy where we are.

"We're building and we want to use these pool games to take a step, block by block and we did that last night."

The All Blacks had been under the cosh for the first 10 minutes but had stayed patient and defended strongly.

"Then we scored four tries off set plays, three off the lineout and one off our own kickoff and of course our scrum was very good.

"To me when your set piece is operating really well it gives you a platform to play the game and we did particularly well off that platform."

The scrum was an awkward part of the tournament. It had been well managed by referee Alain Rolland on Saturday and that was all teams wanted. All officials were different but as long as they were consistent in their rulings, teams could cope.

Victory had been the icing on celebrations for captain Richie McCaw's 100th test. The dressing room had been a special place for McCaw and the team after the match.

"We did not get too carried away," he said. "By the time we finish these games it is about 1am and with daylight saving that meant it was a late enough night as it was."

The All Black selectors planned to watch the game between Argentina and Scotland live last night.