Barbarians ideal start for tour - Foster

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Lynn McConnell     01 Nov 2017     Getty Images

Coming off the Bledisloe Cup loss in Brisbane would be enough to ensure the chosen side would be fully focused at Twickenham on Sunday (NZT), assistant coach Ian Foster said.

Memories of that Brisbane loss of 10 days ago were motivation enough for training this week. The expectations were clear and while it wasn't a Test match it was important the All Blacks stepped up a little from that performance, he said.

While the side was always looking to improve, there were always things that needed to be worked on, there were just more of them after Brisbane, he said.

"It's going to be a great occasion. They've [the Barbarians] got an ethos and a way to play and there's going to be a lot of guys in there that have got a lot of personal meaning and personal motivation and I think that's going to make it a pretty cool game.

"It's certainly one that is going to be really challenging for us and we've got to make sure that we get what we want out of it which is what we spoke about [at the team's review of the Bledisloe Cup game], just making some progress on the last game and be ready for three Test matches," he said.

With several New Zealanders named in the Barbarians squad Foster said he would love to see former All Black wing Julian Savea make a big point in the game.

"Throughout the Mitre 10 Cup he's really progressed. We know he's done a really great job within that Wellington camp and taken the challenge on. He's fit, I thought in the final he looked really quite sharp and that's kind of everything we wanted him to do so the fact he's playing well and looks like he's trending upwards is, I think, great news.

"It's going to create a little bit of an edge, isn't it? He's been a big part of us for a long time and I know he'd love to get back and we'd love to have him back in the form we know he can be in," he said.

While there was an element of not knowing quite what to expect from the Barbarians, who might not know themselves, Foster said that would be a good test for the All Blacks in assessing what was happening in front of them.

"Getting our eyes open and looking at the opportunities is probably something we've got get a little better at anyway so from that perspective this is a great game," he said.