Cruden wary of competition for spots

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James Mortimer     26 Sep 2012     Getty Images

In the last 12 months Cruden has all but locked in his spot as the second ranked number ten in New Zealand rugby, and when Carter's calf played up, Cruden was able to play back-to-back starting tests.

Some even began to pen the demise of Carter, saying he was too injury prone, but such comments are premature when considering that a fit Carter, likely to be selected to start against the Pumas, is still considered in most quarters to be the best in the business.

Cruden even admitted to feeling some selection pressure, knowing that the world record test point's scorer is now effectively challenging him for his spot.

Further to this is the presence of the exciting Beauden Barrett, one of the principal engineers of a rampant Hurricanes attack in Super Rugby that led the try scoring charts.

"You know, you always want to be in that starting 15," Cruden said.

"It's no different again this week. I'll be pushing my claims through training and if I get the opportunity, I'll definitely be keen to get out there and make the most of it."

Cruden's last outing wasn't his best performance, as he and the All Blacks backline had to contend with wintery conditions in Wellington, while most of the match was a battle of attrition among the forwards.

La Plata is not expected to duplicate the capital's weather.

"It'll just allow us to be a little more expansive and probably show our skills a lot better than we did in that gamen Wellington a few weeks ago," he said.

"The weather was pretty testing, and we were inaccurate in a lot of areas. I think with a bit of dry ball we'll be able to sharpen that up."