Christie keen to make most of opportunity against USA

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After thriving with the Blues in Super Rugby in 2021, Christie is keen to make the most of his opportunity in Washington DC in getting the backline firing.


The midfield sports a new combination in a season where injuries have affected choices. Quinn Tupaea will have another chance to impress at second five-eighths in harness with centre Braydon Ennor, while George Bridge and Will Jordan are on the wings with Damian McKenzie at fullback.


Christie said the starting role was a rare opportunity and he would be concentrating on nailing his job, trying to play well and taking any chances with both hands so after it was all over, he could reflect on having made the most of his opportunity.


"Nothing's different to a normal game," he said of his preparation.


Being paired with first five-eighths Richie Mo'unga, who is having his first start after paternity leave, would give their combination another chance to build.

"He's one of the players in the squad I'm looking forward to playing with. I've played with Beaudy [Beauden Barrett] a fair bit and a few of the other backs.


"It's going to be pretty cool, in my eyes, running out with him outside me," he said.


Christie said with the firepower the All Blacks had in their backline, it would be a case of giving them good ball without having to do too many fancy things around the rucks.


"I'll try to distribute early and get the ball to them in space hopefully, and then, potentially late in the half, there might a few spaces open up with tired players but [I'm] definitely looking, early doors, to distribute and try to get my passing game going," he said.


Against lower-ranked teams, there was a trap they could fall into by trying to score straight away or to take space early, but it was a case of having to do the basics well to create space.


But they had talked about attempting to find the space and execute their plan, so it was a case of balancing their game to achieve their goals.


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