TJ Perenara is back in the mix for All Blacks selection heading into the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup, coach Ian Foster has confirmed.
Perenara, 29, missed the All Blacks' tests against Tonga and Fiji, ineligible having not played a game in New Zealand this season after a stint in Japan's Top League with the NTT Red Hurricanes.
As a result, Brad Weber and Finlay Christie served as the All Blacks back-up halfbacks, with Aaron Smith still comfortable in his status as New Zealand's first-choice No.9.
However, speaking to media on Sunday after the All Blacks' 60-13 win over Fiji in Hamilton, Foster outlined that Perenara was eligible again after turning out for his club side, Northern United.
"TJ's eligible for selection," Foster says.
"I think he played one game of club rugby - I think he played at 15 or 10, he's got great negotiating skills with coaches, that boy.
"But he took a knock last week so didn't play. We're going to look at his programme over the next four or five weeks, and just see what's the right way to reintroduce him to test match rugby."
Perenara will likely be named in the All Blacks' 36-man squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship, named on Monday.
The All Blacks are next in action on August 7 for the first Bledisloe Cup test, against the Wallabies at Eden Park.