Akira Ioane developing his game at the highest level

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It has been a shared project at NPC, Super Rugby and Test level with reward starting to come, and recognised with his man of the match award in Perth in Sunday's 38-21 win over Australia.

 

But Ioane, while pleased with his contribution, is looking for more as his understanding of his role grows.

 

"I'm still trying to figure out the little things during the week, but I'm happy with how I'm going. I still want to get better and so does the team collectively. I'm looking forward to a new challenge this week, but it was a good week from the boys," he said.

 

He said finding the space to put in his powerful sideline runs came down to being in the right place at the right time, and he had been lucky. He said the forward pack deserved the credit for doing the work that allowed him to play as he had.

 

"We're going to have to do that next week against a good Argentina side," he said.

 

 

The side wanted a strong performance in the first of their five Tests on consecutive weekends.

 

"It was a good start but we want to get better every game. There're a lot of us on this tour so we probably won't play every game, but as long as the team that goes out there does the job that's all we want. Everyone wants to get better, that's why we play the game we love," he said.

 

"It's always nerve-wracking putting on that black jersey. There are a lot of people who will doubt you and people who will be there for you. It's a lot of pressure, but we all love that. That's why we're here.

 

"I have had my challenges and worked through that two years ago. Being here now it's pretty special and something I don't take for granted.

 

"It's been a long journey, and a hard one as well, and to reap the rewards now…I'm just happy in general I guess which is why I'm playing all right rugby," he said.

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