Todd happy to be back playing old laws

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Lynn McConnell     07 Oct 2016     Getty Images

Todd, who is starting ahead of Ardie Savea in Durban, said the majority of his rugby had been played under the laws applying at Test level and was looking forward to enjoying getting back to the old habits as opposed to the new ones required of the law trials in domestic rugby.

"It is a little different but I don't think it will be a big deal," he said. "I probably prefer these laws so happy to be back playing them."

Todd said it would be good to play under skipper Kieran Read because he knew his game having played with him so much for the Crusaders.

Todd said he had been in and out of the team environment enough that he was comfortable with everyone in the side.

He was looking forward to playing alongside Jerome Kaino who was a very physical, and dominating, player.

First five-eighths Beauden Barrett said he was looking forward to the Test match.

"Every time the All Blacks play South Africa over here it is a special occasion and I'm really looking forward to that. It's a huge Test for us, it doesn't get any better so I can't wait," Barrett said.

He added that he had watched Morne Steyn in action when growing up and seeing him kick dropped goals at Loftus Versfeld brought back memories and he had obviously played well at the weekend against Australia to steer their team around and kicked all the points.

"Obviously our discipline has to be really good this week, we have to be squeaky clean and we can't concede easy points because he's a great goal-kicker," he said.

Second five-eighths Ryan Crotty said the ability of his centre partner Anton Lienert-Brown to off-load in the tackle had been one thing that stood out in his game against Argentina last weekend.

"It was awesome to see him take his opportunity and that was a credit to the guys who have been helping him prepare that week and it's been much the same this week," he said.

Crotty was delighted that fellow Crusader Matt Todd would have the chance to win a fifth Test cap on the flank of the scrum. He had worked hard for five or six years and he couldn't wait to run out to play with him.

Lock Sam Whitelock said he was feeling 'nice and energised' after coming off the bench last weekend against Argentina and he also couldn't wait to play.

The retirement of Victor Matfield had left a big hole for South Africa to fill but his replacements had stepped up and had put their own spin on the role and were starting to grow as a combination.

"I think if you look at how those guys have been playing throughout the Super Rugby and the Championship they are really evolving their game and bounce off each other really well so that's something Brodie [Retallick] and I have to confront early and make sure we stay on top of it the whole game," he said.

South Africa had an 'awesome' lineout for so many years, even from the pre-lifting days, and the All Blacks had worked very hard to counter that and there were still a lot of things to develop and get better at but they were happy with how they were doing at the moment.

"But we're always trying to push it and grow that area of our game," he said.