Robinson keen to get into action

Photosport     27 Sep 2007     Photosport

The only player of the side yet to have game time, due to a continuation of the frustrating run of injuries he has suffered over the last three years, Robinson has reported in good shape and fully recovered from the calf muscle injury to his left leg.

With Reuben Thorne having played all last weekend's Test against Scotland, the All Blacks locking resources will be back to full strength with Robinson keen to get back among the action where he extends the hardness factor of the pack.

"I wouldn't say I am nervous, more excited. I'm hoping I will get named tomorrow and hopefully I can play for the All Blacks, it will be awesome," he said in Aix en Provence.

He's confident that the effort that has gone into getting him back on the track will pay off.

"We've done a lot of work in the last couple of weeks and it's been building for the Romania game and over the last couple of days I have done a lot of conditioning on it and I'm very confident it's fine," he said.

He admitted that he thought if it wasn't right by a certain time then his Cup might be over. But in talking with Graham Henry and management staff they told him there was no rush to get back and to take his time.

"There was no pressure on me from them. The only pressure was what I put on myself. The boys and the management team have been really supportive and they've made it very easy.

"It's been a little bit frustrating. You want to play for the All Blacks but you can't because you're injured. It's one of those things, it's just frustrating."

He said after he slipped up the second time he had a day afterwards thinking the worst which he said was typical because that was the day you always thought it was the end of the world.

"Since then, there've been gradual improvements and the last week we've really picked up the pace on it and Pete Gallagher said I was in the best shape of my life. He's a physio, so I'll listen to him."

Robinson said he has learnt to deal with the frustration of injuries as a result of his recent experiences. He was naturally inclined to want to push things too hard to get back into action. But he thinks he has nailed this one.

Previously he has shown a remarkable resilience to quickly pick up on his game through match play.

"I've got a good aerobic fitness base, I always keep myself fit. You're playing for the All Blacks, you're going to stick everything into it."

"I could probably have played the Scotland game, but in saying that, I've been there before where it could easily have blown out as well. I think it's going to be a lot better off now after taking another week. We've done some really good work on it this week and it's feeling really good.

Central to his final preparation this week has been the unstinting support of team-mates Andrew Hore and Greg Somerville who, although on time off from rugby, went down the training ground to assist him.

"Yesterday, for example, we did some clean out of rucks and driving through the tackle, pushing off the calf, a bit of scrum stuff, some 90 percent running intervals, it was a very good session and I came away from it very happy," he said.

Typically, Robinson hasn't been sitting still while the injury has curtailed him. In order to maintain his fitness he has been working out with boxing.

And he has been helping the team cause by helping out regular locks Ali Williams and Chris Jack with opposing sides' lineouts and also putting in analysis on the team computers.

"I think it's important that if I do see anything that needs attention that I do pass it onto them and I know they'd do the same for me.

"The lineouts been going pretty good, we've been getting our lineout ball and a little bit of theirs. We're on the right track," he said.

Even moreso now that he is also back in the equation.