Kaino looking forward to week of build-up in Sydney

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Lynn McConnell     14 Aug 2016     Getty Images

All Blacks teams have been vulnerable in the past in Sydney and know that the Australians will be waiting for them after the disappointment of their World Cup finals loss in London last year.


Usually, the All Blacks have travelled to Australia on the Thursday before Sydney games but have made a change this year.

Sixty-nine Test veteran Jerome Kaino expects the extra time to be valuable for the side.

"I think it's huge for us, having the extra couple of days together to acclimatise to Sydney and really prepare well for the Test match," he said in Auckland before the side's departure on Sunday.

"Obviously for us there is a big gap between Super Rugby and Test match level and that extra week with the team gives us that time to prepare well and to get our attitude and mindset right for that Test match.

"For the last few years we've played them there for the first game and so they're naturally up for that first Test match and we're in their back yard.

"It is a harder place to play for us because they've got a lot more support, usually in Brisbane we have a lot of support there, but it's always a tough place to play in Sydney and they're always firing for that first Test match," Kaino said.


By getting there a week early the All Blacks could have a full week's training without any interruption and without travel or anything.

"It will be good for us. Also with us regrouping a little bit later with the Super Rugby final and players being out, I think it will be more positive for us to be able to get there and get things going," he said.

Kaino said the game of three halves warm-up that the All Blacks had in Pukekohe on Friday had been invaluable, especially for him after the Blues did not contest the Super Rugby play-offs which left him with an extra week without play.

"Friday was much needed, I was blowing. It was positive and good for us to get those minutes under the belt before we head into Test match week so it was a good hit out," he said.

But at the same time, the extra week off playing had also had benefits in terms of refreshing him.

"It was good, not to be fully in a rugby environment. We still had our training sessions that we had to do but I'm feeling good and I'm excited to get into Test week and I was pumping to get in here with all the boys," he said.