Tuipulotu ready to take his chance

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Lynn McConnell     30 Sep 2016     Getty Images

Tuipulotu said with world-class players like Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick and Luke Romano in front of him in the squad it was a case of trying hard to put his hand up to be noticed.

"I just want to take every opportunity that comes my way and I am looking forward to running out against a good Pumas side," he said.

Retallick said Tuipulotu had been pushing the more senior players, had been working hard at training and in the gym and he was excited to be playing alongside him in Buenos Aires.

"I'm pretty nervous, it is my second start for the All Blacks. I think those nerves will go once kick-off comes so I'm looking forward to it," Tupulotu said.

He said he had a long time out of rugby with his hip operations but he had enjoyed a good year of Investec Super Rugby and a couple of games of Mitre 10 as well and feels he ready.

It was important to be switched on when coming into the All Blacks camp because everything went by so quickly and the training sessions were faster than for Super Rugby and Mitre 10 Cup.

"We match the game speed in a lot of our trainings," he said.

As expected after the warning coach Steve Hansen gave after the side's game in Christchurch against South Africa several changes had been made now that the Investec Rugby Championship was tied up.

But Retallic said because so many changes had been made to the side it didn't mean the side would be any weaker.

There were some players who would be making their debuts and they and the other less regular starters would be keen to get out and state their cases in the middle.

Tuipulotu said the Pumas had improved, especially with the Jaguares taking part in Super Rugby this year.

"A couple of years ago Argentina would struggle against the All Blacks whereas now, over the last couple of years they've got stronger, more physical, their skill sets are very high and they definitely give us a run for our money," he said.

They had beaten other teams in the world and the margin between them and the All Blacks was getting smaller and smaller.

Retallick agreed Argentina were getting closer and that was evident in Hamilton in the first 60 minutes of their last Test.

He rated Argentine captain and hooker Agustin Creevy very highly as an opponent for the way he controlled his side and the way he worked with his pack.

So far as thinking about the pending world record for consecutive Test wins, which is three Tests away, Retallick said it would be a nice record to have but if they didn't win on Saturday it wouldn't mean anything.

"Obviously it is there, but it is not a distraction, we can't get too far ahead of ourselves because if we start looking to the future we will stumble. We're just looking to take care of this game and whatever happens at the weekend and then we'll move on to Durban," he said.