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All Blacks: Could Wyatt Crockett come out of retirement?

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The All Blacks are hopeful to have some key cogs return from injury in time for the side’s upcoming three-test series against France. However, if the team is still short on props with time running out, might veteran Wyatt Crockett come out of retirement to make his return to the field?

Crockett, 35, officially announced his retirement from the national team after 35 appearances. However, he continues to play for the Crusaders, with whom he has played 195 Super Rugby matches. Considering he’s not fully retired from competition in the first place, might it make sense for Crockett to return to represent his home country if they come calling? The coach seems to think it’s possible.

When asked by RadioLIVE about the possibility, manager Grant Fox said, “‘Crocky’ would say yes – he’s such a good man. And he’d have a wry smile on his face, like, ‘I’m trying to give it up, what are you fellas doing?’”

Even with the rash of injuries, most reputable rugby betting sites still list the All Blacks as the favorites to topple France in their upcoming clash.

Earlier in the week, Crockett did admit that his potential return to the All Blacks has been the subject of some deliberation at the time of the announcement of his retirement. He suggested that if the team were absolutely wrecked by injuries that he could make his dramatic comeback.

Crockett said, “We’ll just play it by ear. If there was a crisis, I’d be available to help out, but I think at this stage, they’re going to be fine. I think they’re letting me get on with my time here at the Crusaders and enjoying that. We did mention at the time, if there was a serious string of injuries and they were in a tough position, then I’d be available.”

The team is on the mend, however, which means the All Blacks may not need to call on Crockett, after all.

Joe Moody, who plays alongside Crockett with the Crusaders, returned this week from his shoulder and finger injuries. Crockett added, “I suppose there has been a bit of a run of it this year, which has been a little tough for the looseheads. But I think some of the guys are coming back at the right end of the season, so they’ll be right for us near the end of the season, which is good for us.”

Crockett said that the injury risk that comes with playing a sport as physically taxing as rugby can lead to some unfortunate injury situations, but that’s just the nature of the game.

He said, “It’s a tough position – as a loosehead, you’re responsible for trying to keep the scrum up. It’s tough on the body, definitely, but the injuries we’ve seen this season have been pretty varied and different – it’s hard to pinpoint why. It’s the nature of the game we play – there’s always going to be some bandages here and there.”

It sounds as though he’ll return if need be, but at this stage it’s looking as though Crockett will be afforded the chance to stay retired from the national team.

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