Northland rugby star Rene Ranger could still make the All Blacks' end-of-year tour.
Ranger suffered a hamstring injury in Northland's national provincial championship 24-40 loss to Counties Manukau in Pukekohe yesterday, and initial fears were of a serious tear and up to six weeks on the sideline.
But a medical examination this afternoon pointed to a grade one or two tear, Northland coach Bryce Woodward said, which could mean between two and four weeks on the sideline.
"Certainly he won't be playing against Waikato or Hawke's Bay, and there's a question mark about the game against Tasman," Woodward told NZPA.
The Tasman game is scheduled for October 17, the same day the All Blacks' touring party for the northern hemisphere tour will be named.
Meanwhile, All Blacks five-eighth Luke McAlister has been cleared of any serious injury after he was forced to leave the field with an injured jaw early in the second half of North Harbour's 44-30 win against Manawatu in Albany yesterday.
It was feared McAlister's jaw had been broken but it was only bruised, North Harbour confirmed today.
McAlister was expected to play a full part in training this week and be available for the match against Counties-Manukau in Pukekohe on Sunday.
Which three first-fives would you have taken on the All Blacks' northern tour?