Winger Hosea Gear planning to return to Super Rugby to push for New Zealand recall
Hosea Gear admits he faces a "massive challenge" to work his way into New Zealand's squad in time for the World Cup.
Last Updated: 01/06/14 10:31pm
The winger offered another reminder of his finishing abilities on Sunday when he crossed twice for the Barbarians in their 39-29 victory over an England XV at Twickenham.
Having now finished his time with Toulouse in France, Gear will head for Japan in August to play for the Honda Heat.
However the 30-year-old - who has won 14 caps for the All Blacks - will then head home in February in time for the Super Rugby season, even though he does not yet know which franchise he will be playing for.
"From here I'm headed to Japan for one season, then I'm heading home in February to play Super Rugby to give myself the opportunity to challenge for the World Cup," he said after his two-try display.
"I played 33 matches, 80 minutes each one this season, but I think I needed some, looking ahead towards the World Cup, I think I needed some top-level, international class football.
"I think these two games gave me the opportunity to do that, so I was more than happy, I'm feeling good and I don't feel like I need a rest.
"I spoke to Steve Hansen before I left, I mentioned the possibility that I could come back and he was all for that, he said 'make sure you do come back'.
"At the same time it will probably help create a little bit more depth in New Zealand rugby for the World Cup if anything happens.
"So that was the last time I heard. And for me it's going to be a massive challenge.
"The outside backs they've got at the moment have been doing an awesome job, and there's probably no reason to leave any one of them out. It's a huge challenge, but one I'm looking forward to."
The current New Zealand squad are preparing to face England in a three-Test series, live on Sky Sports.
The opening match, which takes place in Auckland next Saturday, will see the tourists without those players who appeared in the Aviva Premiership final between Northampton and Saracens.
Gear, though, doesn't expect his compatriots to show any mercy, no matter who Stuart Lancaster picks to play at Eden Park.
"They've got some new guys just coming into the side who have been in really, really top form," he said.
"I'm guessing they would want to come out and play really well in that first Test to get some momentum.
"England may be under-strength in that first Test, but I think New Zealand will want to get an advantage."