All Blacks prepare to test squad depth

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Lynn McConnell     08 Sep 2018     Getty Images

All Blacks captain Kieran Read said he had been impressed with the advances Argentina had made in recent years, and under their new coach Mario Ledesma, while also taking advantage of the continuity they had from the Jaguares being involved in Investec Super Rugby.

"A side that knocks over the South Africans is a good side and they come here with lots of confidence so we've got to be aware of that," he said.

While his loose forward counterparts this weekend, Ardie Savea on the openside and Shannon Frizell on the blindside of the scrum, were newer players.

"But I guess from our point of view in the All Blacks there is a certain role you play whatever position you fill.

"We don't want to change them as players but they've got roles to fill within this team. They'll bring different skill sets but hopefully they can go out there and perform their role and I'm sure when little moments happen we'll see that little bit of brilliance those two players can bring," he said.

There would also be delight for halfback Te Toiroa Turiorangi when he had the chance to make his debut when coming on from the bench.

Covering new ground by playing their first Test in Nelson had been something different for the side that had worked out well.

"It's been an awesome week. The community has got right behind us and we've certainly felt the support and we've felt the love from all the Nelson community so it's been a great week. For us the way we repay that is hopefully with a good performance," he said.

It had been good to get out into the provinces and especially enjoyable in Nelson for the first time for a Test match.

There were fresh faces in the side this week and they were excited by the challenge and getting out and playing together.

"There's a spark there and we just have to make sure that we turn up with a great attitude and with a lot of physicality because the Argies are here to certainly come out and play hard. We know that and we are focusing on what we can bring," he said.

Read said first five-eighths Richie Mo'unga, who will be making his starting debut, was a top player who was 'pretty calm' trying to run the ship as such a young player. But he was also capable of having the key conversations when necessary and that had impressed him.

All week he had been telling Mo'unga to go out and play his game just like it was for the Investec Super Rugby winning Crusaders and he was confident he would do a great job.