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Lomu comeback trail continues

14th June 2006

North Harbour coach Allan Pollock is confident Jonah Lomu will play in this season's national rugby championship with the winger recovering well after breaking his ankle eight weeks ago.

Lomu's comeback with Cardiff Blues ended prematurely with his injury in late April.

Pollock said the legendary All Blacks No.11, who arrived back in New Zealand last week, was due to have his cast removed today.

Lomu was then expected to slowly begin jogging as he attempts to regain his match fitness, but Pollock backed the 31-year-old to take the field this season.

"That's the whole aim of what's he doing. He's literally had no weight on that leg for the last eight weeks, but (his weight) has not blown out.

"If the body shape is any indication he's keeping himself in very good trim at the gym.

"That speaks volumes to how hard he's been working."

North Harbour open their Air New Zealand Cup campaign on July 30, but Pollock could not say whether Lomu would be available for their early games.

"Even though he's gym fit aerobically after hitting the rowing machines and cycles, running fitness and match fitness are two separate things."

Lomu, who played 63 tests, has repeatedly said he wants to regain his All Blacks jersey for the 2007 World Cup in France.