Different challenges for rugby in 2019 - Foster

GettyImages 1174407646

The game had moved since 2015, the number of collisions had moved and with teams wanting to play a short-passing, ruck game, it was a very physical game at the moment, he said.

 

"Over here, [in Japan] it is going to be interesting to see where people go. There are going to be firmer grounds, hopefully good conditions to move the ball and hopefully a faster game which will favour teams that may want to play a little more ball in hands but the fundamentals haven't moved that far.

 

"The importance of set-piece, the importance of your skill work the importance of your accuracy, your kicking game are still key fundamentals in World Cups, particularly when the pressure goes on," he said.

 

Foster said the two weeks the All Blacks spent in Japan last year had been invaluable.

 

They had tested the facilities and had been delighted and that had continued since their arrival last weekend.

 

While everything at their training base had been outstanding, the side loved the feel of being in Tokyo and getting into preparation mode for the opening game.

 

"The boys love getting out and about and feel very much at home here," he said.

 

Media interest at the first World Cup media session held on Saturday had focused on the use the All Blacks were making of Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo'unga.

 

Second five-eighths Ryan Crotty said both were world-class players and his Crusaders teammate Richie Mo'unga had come a long way in the last few years. He had worked hard and stayed humble.

 

"I'm really proud of how he's come on and I'm excited to see him out there over the next few weeks.

 

"It is awesome to see the two of them out together, they're two very fast, very good directors, they've got really high quality skill sets and they see the game really well. When you're playing out there with them it makes your job a lot easier [seeing] how they go about their work," he said.

 

Wing Sevu Reece said it had always been his dream to become an All Black and it wasn't something that came easy. It was a lot of hard work and he was grateful to be in Japan.

 

He said Irishman Ronan O'Gara, who coached him with the Crusaders this year, had an impact on his development, changing the way he defended and he had helped him a lot.

 

Crotty said Reece had backed himself. He had worked hard and continued to take opportunities as they came his way.

 

"He did a great job for us at the Crusaders in what we were trying to execute. He nailed that really well and he's learning a lot being in this environment.

 

"It's awesome to see his continued improvement and if he continues to stay humble, like I said about Richie, he could be an unbelievable player," he said.

 

Fellow teammate hooker Codie Taylor said Reece showed a lot of resilience for the Crusaders and had utilised that to take it to the next level and perform for the All Blacks.

 

"It's not an easy thing to do, especially for a young winger like himself but with him I think he really enjoys being part of the team and enjoys that team environment and really thrives off the boys.

 

"He creates a lot of energy for us as well when you see someone like him come in as a young player and step up. It's really exciting to see and I'm just rapt for him that he's taken his opportunities," he said.

LATEST NEWS

View all