Boost for New Zealand as Milner-Skudder nears return

World Rugby's "Breakthrough Player of the Year" in 2015 injured his shoulder in March

Boost for New Zealand as Milner-Skudder nears return

New Zealand's Nehe Milner-Skudder scores a try Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Paul Thomas

New Zealand's Nehe Milner-Skudder is due to return to competitive action in February, giving the country a boost ahead of the Lions tour next summer.

Milner-Skudder was World Rugby's "Breakthrough Player of the Year" in 2015 where he helped the All Blacks retain the World Cup. 

The fleet-footed winger topped the charts at the global competition for line breaks and metres made, scoring six tries along the way.

He also opened the scoring in the final against Australia touching down in the corner just before half-time as New Zealand ran out eventual 34-17 winners.

He is due to make his return at the Brisbane 10s competition at the start of 2017 after recovering from a shoulder injury he picked up in March during the Super Rugby season.

Speaking to the New Zealand Herald about his rehabilitation, he said: "My rehab went well and I've been really enjoying being back training with the squad during the preseason over the past few weeks. To be honest I'm chomping at the bit to get back on the field.

"To be able to test myself in a tournament like the Tens will be perfect timing just a few weeks out from the start of our Super season," he added.

Looking ahead to the Global 10s series in Australia he said: "To have international teams like Toulon and Samoa alongside some of Super Rugby's best teams will be quite unique and no doubt it will be a real test for everyone.

"Tens isn't something most of us get to play too often, so we are all looking forward to giving it a go. Having less numbers means there'll be a bit more space so that'll make for plenty of ball movement and guys backing themselves," he added.