Carter looking forward to renewing partnership with Nonu

Getty Images

James Mortimer     30 Aug 2012     Getty Images

While Ben Smith made a solid cameo in the centres over the weekend against the Wallabies, it is expected that the old firm of Nonu and Conrad Smith will be re-united in the midfield.

Smith has recovered from his eye injury, and coach Steve Hansen said he would be available to return to action in front of his home crowd.

However it is the crucial link between a 10 and a 12 that will need to be re-established according to All Blacks first five-eighth Dan Carter, who has had Sonny Bill playing outside of him with more frequency that his old dreadlocked team-mate.

Carter operated alongside Williams last year in Crusaders colours, while the last time he played with Nonu was when the All Blacks played France during the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup in September.

Nonu played at centre against the Wallabies last week, and Williams' absence and Smith’s return meant that the Blues back could play where he is most comfortable Carter said.

“It gives Ma'a an opportunity to go into his preferred position of 12,” he said.

“I'm sure he'll be a lot more comfortable to be playing in the 12 jersey so we'll just have to work really hard on sorting that combination out because it's been almost a year since we've played alongside each other.”

“There's definitely some work that we have to do to get those combinations right.”