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Joe ready to seize the day

Fotopress

Sportal.co.nz     01 Jun 2007     Fotopress

Having been squeezed out of the Blues Rebel Sport Super 14, initially with an injury after coming back from reconditioning, he was left out of the side as it went into the final stages of the competition.

It has taken time, but he has put that disappointment behind him, acknowledging that next year will provide different circumstances for the Blues, and that this year the most important thing is putting his international game back together.

The national selectors kept in touch with him during that period but he said the onus was on himself as a professional footballer to get the best from himself and not have someone else geeing him up.

His concentration with the All Blacks this week has been out getting himself ready to play.

An important facet of that is taking the anxiety out of it, because he knows that getting anxious can lead to problems on the field.

His club play was not so much about creating the opportunities needed to get his game back to its try-scoring best, although he did score two tries, but in reading the game, the flow of play.

"When I played Super 14 my reading of the game was too slow," he said.

A full-strength French side would make predicting what was going to happen difficult at the best of times, but although the French for this weekend are an unknown factor, Rokocoko is not taking any chances.

"We all know about French rugby. Their forwards love to be rough, and their backs love to run with the ball. They are similar to us in that regard," he said.

"It's a Test, and any team that plays against the All Blacks gives 110 percent."

Rokocoko said he is ready for the challenge. He is excited to have the chance to get back into action and to do his job.

He knows from his previous experience that he belongs in Test rugby and it was always good to be back in the All Blacks environment where you have faith and trust in the players around.