Beauden Barrett Rugby World Cup: Richie Mo’unga to be ‘fully fit and available’ for Cup opener

    Beauden Barrett Rugby World Cup: Richie Mo’unga to be ‘fully fit and available’ for Cup opener

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    Beauden Barrett Richie Mo'unga suffered the shoulder injury in the All Blacks victory that retained the Bledisloe Cup.

    PHOTOSPORT

    Richie Mo’unga suffered the shoulder injury in the All Blacks victory that retained the Bledisloe Cup.

    Ben Smith’s recall to the All Blacks fullback slot could be short-lived.

    Steve Hansen and his fellow selectors will have the option to revert back to dual playmakers for the All Blacks opening match of the Rugby World Cup, following confirmation Richie Mo’unga will be “fully fit and available” for the clash with the Springboks on September 21.

    Mo’unga arrived in Japan under an injury cloud after suffering a shoulder injury in the All Blacks 36-0 victory over the Wallabies at Eden Park last month.

    For three consecutive tests, the All Blacks preferred option was to start Beauden Barrett at fullback and Mo’unga in the No. 10 jersey.

    READ MORE:
    * How to watch Rugby World Cup
    * ‘ABs won’t wilt in Japan’
    * Barrett and the class of 2011
    * From barista to the RWC
    * Anscombe’s RWC despair

    In Mo’unga’s absence, Smith – who was dropped from the right wing for the second Bledisloe Cup test in favour of Sevu Reece – started at fullback for last weekend’s 92-7 thrashing of Tonga.

    Beauden Barrett Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo'unga have formed an exciting dual playmaker combination.

    PHOTOSPORT

    Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga have formed an exciting dual playmaker combination.

    All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster fronted the media in Kashiwa on Wednesda

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