Waisake Naholo's miracle recovery from a broken leg is complete with the Highlanders winger named to play just his second Test in the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup clash with Georgia in Cardiff on Friday.
Naholo was at long odds to feature in the tournament after he suffered the injury on debut against Argentina in the opening match of the Rugby Championship. But he returned to country of his birth, Fiji, and after using the traditional healing methods of his uncle, did enough to prove to the selectors he would be right to play midway through the pool phase.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has named a strong starting side, with skipper Richie McCaw and star playmaker Dan Carter both returning after sitting out the win over Namibia last week. There is also a second consecutive start for Sonny Bill Williams with Ma'a Nonu not considered due to injury.
"We've selected what we think is the best 23 for this Test match and reflects where we currently are with our progress in the Rugby World Cup," Hansen said via a New Zealand Rugby press release.
"We're looking forward to seeing Waisake back on the track, he's been jumping out of his skin at training and I'm sure he can't wait for game day."
The only real concern for Hansen appears at fly-half, with back-ups Beauden Barrett and Colin Slade unable to face Georgia. While it's a situation sure to have All Blacks fans a little concerned given what went on four years ago, Hansen was quick to play down their respective ailments.
"While it's disappointing to have Beauden, Colin, Ma'a and Liam unavailable for selection, their injuries are minor and they're all expected to be available for selection next week," Hansen said.
"This game gives us an opportunity to build on our previous performances against an opposition who have proven to be very physical in their two matches. Although we don't know a lot about them, we know enough. They're big, strong athletes and should contribute to what will be a great occasion at Millennium Stadium. I know everyone in our group is looking forward to it."
New Zealand: Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Conrad Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Julian Savea, Daniel Carter, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read, Richie McCaw, Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Charlie Faumuina, Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Owen Franks, Victor Vito, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, TJ Perenara, Malakai Fekitoa.