The All Blacks are convinced Australian loose forward gun David Pocock will suit up for the opening Bledisloe Cup test
Word out of the Wallabies camp is that Pocock will remain on ice, as he continues to recover from a calf injury.
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But All Blacks flanker Sam Cane believes that's a bit of a smoke screen, as Australia try to end their 17-year Bledisloe Cup drought.
"I expect him to come back and be right in the thick of things," he says.
"Your match fitness is normally not quite where you want it to be, but because you've been in those situations before, you can just push on through.
"A guy like David Pocock, there's not a big margin between his best and worst games."
While the return of Pocock to test rugby remains uncertain, Cane believes the Wallabies superstar will savour every moment, when he finally gets back on the field.
Pocock hasn't played since March and while Wallabies fans wringing their hands ahead of this year's World Cup in Japan, his struggles are nothing compared to Cane's own injury battle.
The 27-year-old broke his neck playing in an All Blacks test against South Africa in Pretoria last October, with the injury threatening his career.
Cane spent seven months on the sidelines, before returning to Super Rugby in May. After taking on Argentina last month, he's set to face the Wallabies in Perth in their Rugby Championship/Bledisloe Cup clash on Saturday night.
Cane says Pocock will have a new appreciation for playing for his country, after such a long stint in the sideline.
"Rugby is a team sport until you get injured and then it feels like you're chipping away on your own for a long time," Cane says.
"During those times, there's little steps and goals. My goal was to get back to wearing the black jersey and David, the gold jumper.
"Should he get that opportunity, I'm sure he will savour it more, because of all the hard work and steps he has to take to get there."
The Chiefs ace says, once the physical work is done, the challenge to return to the top level becomes mental.
He admits to having some doubts before his first Super Rugby match.
"It's about your ability to push that to one side," Cane says. "You're always going to have those little voices in one area of your brain, telling you to be careful or a little bit hesitant, but you can't let them be too overpowering.
"You need to let your other part of your brain say, 'You've done the work - you're alright and rip in'."
Join us at 9:45pm Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks v Wallabies Bledisloe Cup clash