All Black props excited about new challenge of Argentina

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New All Black props Fletcher Newell and Tyrel Lomax have taken confidence from their contribution to New Zealand's 35-23 win over South Africa in the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship Test at Ellis Park.


Both were called on the tour as injury replacements but were selected for the all-important second Test and retained in the squad for this weekend's first Test against Argentina in Christchurch.


Newell said it had been an enjoyable few weeks since getting the call-up to accompany the side to South Africa, where the time with the side had been invaluable in understanding the language of the game at the international level.


"I'm pretty excited, home's only five minutes away, but my mind is on being in camp now."


"It was a dream to put on that black jersey from when I was young. When you put it on, you want to put it on more and more. Everyone who is in this environment strives to put on that black jersey and everyone is working hard to do that."


Propping was about balancing the round-the-field play with the set-piece, a constant challenge for front-rowers.


"It's quite hard to get around the field when you weigh as much as some of us [Newell is 121kgs]. It's a challenge but everyone is working hard on getting mobile and off the ground quickly."


Newell arranged for his father to be in Johannesburg to witness his All Blacks debut and said he had enjoyed the experience. He said he saw the All Blacks play Ireland in Christchurch on a freezing night in 2013, and it was enjoyable to play alongside players like Sam Whitelock, who played in that game.


"It was a massive challenge at Ellis Park. We've accepted that we did a good job in some areas, but it's another week, and Argentina are a new challenge."


"It would mean the world to put on the black jersey in Christchurch. We're just focused on doing what's right for the team. Selection will take care of itself and we've just got to train hard and put ourselves ready to be available."


Fellow prop Tyrell Lomax said the Ellis Park success had given him confidence.


"They're a team I've always wanted to play against because of how dominant their forwards are, so to go up against them and come away with a win was huge."


It was a step forward for the pack, especially after new coach Jason Ryan described the pack as being dented after the Ireland series.


"And to go out and put that sort of performance in was good for us going into the next few weeks."


Ryan had been passionate and cared about the team and was someone the players didn't want to let down.


Being in South Africa as injury cover, Lomax went into the trip with a feeling of having nothing to lose. That was after getting over not making the squad.


"I couldn't have my head in the sand for too long and had to get back on the horse and try to put some good games together."


Argentina was an unorthodox side that played with a lot of passion and pride and would be physical in Christchurch.






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