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Robinson finally fit to play

Photosport

NZPA     24 Sep 2007     Photosport

Steady progress over the past week sees him on track to play in the final pool match against Romania in Toulouse on Sunday morning (NZ time).

Since injuring the calf at training while the team were in Corsica more than three weeks ago, Robinson admitted there had been times he had felt a lonely figure even though the support of his teammates had been heartening.

"It is frustrating and I suppose I feel a bit distanced from the team and I'm looking forward to getting on the field," he said.

"I've a had a couple of setbacks in the past few weeks, and I think I tried to push it a bit too much, but it's feeling very good now."

Early in the recovery process, there had been serious questions posed as to whether a replacement should be flown over to be on standby. The selectors have put their faith in the injury-prone hardman to come right and he was anxious to repay such loyalty.

Robinson cut a dejected figure when the team arrived in Marseille three weeks ago but he has soldiered on, constantly undergoing tests and jogging sideline while his teammates have trained.

"I've dealt with it (injury) in the past, I know how to handle it. It's just frustrating and it makes it special when you come back," he said.

"I love playing rugby and it's disappointing when you can't because of injury.

"It's tough. It's not a nice thing to go through."

There will be limited opportunity for Robinson to gel with his teammates for the Romania match as every player will take a break from rugby until Thursday, meaning there are just two days of training later in the week.

That didn't concern the 30-year-old, who didn't yet feel ready to push himself 100 percent.

"We're not going to go full-on just yet," he said.

"I've got another six days until the game and I'm going to just stick to our game plan.

"Just slowly pick it up this week through a lot of individual skills stuff, read up on everything and make sure I'm going to hit the ground running."