All Blacks selection for the 'here and now'

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Lynn McConnell     21 Jun 2016     Getty Images

Assistant coach Ian Foster said the selectors were more concerned about getting the best team on the field 'for the here and now' and also growing the team by having the right players in place for the future to cover any injuries.


"We're up 2-0, we're assessing how the guys are going that haven't been playing and if we put them in [whether] that is going to lift our performance is our primary driver," he said.

The team overall hadn't been as relaxed as might be preferred during the first two Tests but that was to be expected with a new group and it was hoped there would be more relaxation evident as play became more instinctive with time.

Foster said centre Seta Tamanivalu, who had time off the bench in both of the first two Tests, should be really pleased with his performance.

It had been a little different in Wellington when coming on as a blood bin replacement for Malakai Fekitoa, then coming off when Fekitoa returned, and then coming on again for the second half.

"The attack side of his game, we were pretty pleased. He touched the ball almost twice as much as he has been averaging in Super Rugby, he got involved, he carried strong and he contributed to our attack," Foster said.
"He got caught in that first receiver role a few times, probably from working too hard and that was a new experience for him, and that's clearly a work-on, and the defensive stuff, centre is not an easy position to defend in, so he's just chipping away at getting better and better at that.

"He's got some really good qualities, he's physical, big and fast. He's still got a lot to learn as do a lot of players about just the speed and intensity that things happen but overall it has been a good couple of weeks for him."

The selectors had been impressed, but not surprised, at the way flanker Ardie Savea had developed. He had been brought into the side two years ago to give him a taste of the environment and he had gone away and worked hard on the areas that he needed to.

"He's had an outstanding Hurricanes season, he's obviously really keen to give it a really good crack and he's settled in here and fitted in like a glove.

"It's pretty obvious the impact he's had off the bench and he's doing everything right," he said.

What was ideal from the team perspective was that he had been given a role and he had done that well and Sam Cane had been doing likewise.

"There's two different styles there and we're asking two players to do two different things. At the moment we're pleased with both of them," he said.

Then it was a case of the selectors deciding to leave things as they are or to change them around.