AUCKLAND - Former All Blacks lock Anthony Boric is set to return to Super Rugby for the Blues on Sunday.
Boric, 29, hasn't played at the top level for nearly a year since injuring his neck, requiring surgery.
But he has played three times for the Blues development team and coach, Sir John Kirwan says Boric will be on the bench for Sunday's match against the Waratahs in Sydney.
"He's had three pretty physical hitouts for the development team and he's ready to go," Kirwan said.
"He's been through a pretty traumatic time and the emotion was a lot bigger three weeks ago when he played his first development game. He's just continued to get better so he's ready to go." Meanwhile, Kirwan said All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu was set to make his return to the Blues either against the Chiefs on March 30 or the Highlanders a week later.
"I'd like to bring him back for the Chiefs off the bench but we just need to wait until next week. We can't afford to have anything niggling early season," he said of Mealamu, who turned 34 on Wednesday.
"He's looking great, he's charging around like a 21-year-old. We just need to be careful, but if he's ready to go next week we'll be bringing him in."
Kirwan said the Blues team was likely to be similar to that which started the first two games of the season, when they beat the Hurricanes and the Crusaders, though he didn't think the new players who started in the loss against the Bulls had played badly.