Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Mils Muliaina and Israel Dagg are all expected to be fit for New Zealand’s clash with France on Saturday.
The quartet were sidelined for the All Blacks 83-7 victory over Japan on Thursday but are recovering well from their various niggles and took part in training on Monday.
“It looks like they’re all on track to be available this Saturday,” said All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith.
“Richie had quite a big session and finished it doing some of the forward unit work. Daniel got through a bit of work today and (his back) had freed up a bit better but he still is not 100 per cent.”
“The back is still stiff and a bit uncomfortable but I think the positive thing today was that he goal-kicked after training and that’s a really good sign. Mils got through a lot more and is pretty close to right and Israel looked pretty free.”
Number eight Kieran Read has already been ruled out of the clash with France due to a foot injury but having begun to run again is expected to make his first appearance in the competition against Canada on October 2.
Despite having flattered to deceive in their victories over Japan and Canada, Smith believes France will prove quite a handful - but one that the All Blacks are ready for.
“We’ve studied them through the Six Nations and in pre-World Cup games so we have a pretty good feel for what their patterns are and from my experience patterns don’t change a lot with individuals,” he said.
“We’ve got a really big game this week and we’ve got to get really get some edge. We’ve been watching all the other teams play and if you look at a couple of games - Ireland is a good example - the physicality of their game was well up from what we’ve experienced so we’ve got to get that really quickly.”