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AllBlacks aim to keep it simple

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Sportal.co.nz     14 Aug 2012     Getty Images

The challenge for the side, and management, was the same as that which confronted the side for the June series against Ireland.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said: "We want to make sure we don't go in too complex, we don't try to over-train, we don't try to put too much information in."

At the same time there was always a need to have some options up the sleeve when playing Australia but it was a case of balance – not putting too much in the players' heads and keeping things simple, Foster said.

It is Foster's first experience of the build-up to a Bledisloe Cup match and he said while the importance of the event was obvious to those outside the camp, being involved this year had helped him appreciate what the game meant to some of those who had been familiar with the special intensity of the trans-Tasman rivalry.

Foster said having Sonny Bill Williams signed, sealed and delivered was exciting and he brought three games of experience from the June series.

"It gives us a bit of continuity from where we got to in June and that is a real positive for us. I guess he brings a lot of confidence in himself the way he's played in 2012.

"I wouldn't say it [having Williams in the side] was a relief – it was part of a plan and it took a little while to happen. It's happened and it's given us plenty of time to prepare. So I think we're pretty excited about the next few weeks with him," he said. "And we're pretty excited about what happens after that."

Williams had been excited about the confirmation, he had reached good levels in June and was looking forward to the prospect of taking on Australia.

The selectors had Chiefs players lock Craig Clarke and halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Hurricanes first five-eighths Beauden Barrett along for training on Monday and Tuesday.

Foster said: "With Tawera we saw this as an opportunity to bring him in and let him have a bit of a look. I think he'll learn lots. He's got plenty of energy and he's a player on the rise."

It had also to be remembered the All Blacks were carrying only two halfbacks in their squad and they were only one injury away from needing a starting, or off-the-bench player, to fill the role.

"Either way it is important he knows a little bit about what we're doing," he said.

With Barrett it had been a case of building on the work he had done with the squad in June and to keep his mind fresh on what the All Blacks were doing and with Clarke it was a chance to have another assessment of his knee and where it was at.