Mo'unga keen to keep the pressure on rivals

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Lynn McConnell     22 May 2018     Getty Images

Mo'unga said it was a little easier settling into the camp having had some experience of what was involved earlier.

"You're still on edge, you don't want to miss a meeting or say anything bad or anything wrong," he said.

Having only a few days together in the camp, and being a relative newcomer, meant absorbing all the information was tough.

"It's a case of prioritising what's important. At this stage it is about coming in and connecting with the boys that I really wouldn't connect with.

"I'm writing everything down at the moment, even things that aren't relevant. I'm just jotting them down as well just to make sure I'm catching everything. I'm on edge being relatively new and I probably will be for the rest of the campaign," he said.

His Crusaders teammate Jordan Taufua had been 'fizzing' since his call-up, his phone was going off all the time and selection had been a special moment for him.

While there were still some Investec Super Rugby rivalries to be played out before the onset of the France series, Mo'unga said it wasn't hard to focus on what was required for the All Blacks camp. It was all about the team.

"There's always slight banter going round which is always fun and healthy but for now we're All Blacks and all good teammates," he said.

The competition among the three first five-eighths in the side, himself, Beauden Barrett and Damian McKenzie, would be healthy for the team.

"Whatever that looks like for me, whatever my role is in the team, I'll be more than happy to do whatever I need to do for the team," he said.
Making the match day 23 was his goal. He hadn't got a place in the squad just to make up numbers or to hold a hit shield.

"I definitely want to give it a good crack and if I don't then that's not doing my best for the team so I'll push Beaudy and push Damo as well," he said.

The broken jaw he suffered earlier in the Super Rugby campaign had been the culmination of a year of injury frustrations but he had taken the time out to refresh and his return had coincided with a stage where the Crusaders were a little banged-up.

He had come back with a little energy and some new ideas to the point where his teammates had been telling him to calm down a little.

Now it was a case of putting his energies into the All Blacks' campaign.