The Cup 19 podcast: Brodie Retallick could return in pool play

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Expect towering All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick to get game-time before the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.

That's the view of Newshub rugby editor Ross Karl, who is on the ground in Japan.

Retallick has been recovering from a dislocated shoulder, suffered in the 16-16 draw against South Africa in Wellington two months ago.

The 28-year-old was expected to be sidelined until the knockout stages at best, but he has taken part in All Blacks training and Karl has noticed a significant change in intent from the Chiefs giant.

Speaking to The Cup 19 podcast, he expects to see Retallick named as early as next week against Canada.

"He [Retallick] sounds like he is on the way back and I think we will see him in pool play," Karl says.

"He is starting to bring that niggle and intensity to training. We are going to see a little bit of Brodie Retallick before the playoffs."

As early as last week, Retallick's miraculous recovery saw the Springboks apparently preparing to face him in their tournament opener on Saturday night.

But Karl said that was just a clever ploy by coach Rassie Erasmus to extract some pre-selection information. 

"The South African coaches were playing a game - a really good game," says Karl.

"They threw that out there to get the media to ask the All Blacks if he was going to play, because they knew Ian Foster or Steve Hansen would probably lean towards the truth, and give the Boks an indication on if Retallick was fit. 

"Rassie Erasmus acknowledged that after the game."

The All Blacks have a nine-day break between games - they don't play Canada until Wednesday, October 2.